Chicago Bears: Potential Waiver Wire Additions

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Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears have been pretty active the last few weeks, making multiple transactions to potentially upgrade the back end of their roster. Just in the last few days the Bears have made a trade for a backup TE, Khari Lee, signed a QB, Zac Dysert, and signed another free agent TE, Gannon Sinclair. The Bears made the first round of their final cuts today, which I covered here, but I expect them to be very active on the waiver wire over the next couple of days. I’ve listed a handful of players recently released from around the NFL who may be on the Bears radar. I’ve focused on positions where the Bears could use some depth (DL, WR, OL, S) and listed both recently released veterans and some rookie options.

Recently Released:

DT Darnell Dockett – He’s 32 years old and hasn’t played a regular season snap since 2013, but could provide a veteran presence at DE and beef up a thin position. Currently the Bears are relying on Jarvis Jenkins, a veteran who hasn’t done much in his career, and two unproven 2nd year players in Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton. Dockett may be past his prime, but he’s always been a good pass rusher for his size (6’4 | 290) and the year out of football (ACL) may have recharged his batteries. It’s a long shot, but the Bears are desperate for depth on the D-line and a former 3-time Pro Bowler could be a good mentor for the Bears young D-lineman. After already making a guaranteed $2M from the Niners this year, Dockett should come fairly cheap.

WR Austin Pettis – I know he’s not an exciting option, but the Bears have some serious injury concerns at WR and Pettis would be an upgrade over unproven options like Marc Mariani, Josh Bellamy, and probably even Marquess Wilson. Pettis averaged 32 catches per season his first three years in the league (2011-2013) and scored four TDs in 12 & 13, then got hurt after just five games last year. Pettis has good size (6’3 | 207), runs sharp routes and has reliable hands. He’d be a solid short-term replacement if Jeffrey or Royal is out for an extended period of time and could provide reliable depth the rest of the season.

S Ed Reynolds – I was high on Reynolds coming out of Stanford in the 2014 draft. Reynolds was my 4th rated free safety and I was surprised that he lasted until the 5th round of the draft last year. It was one of the deepest drafts in recent memory, but I had a 2nd-3rd round grade on Reynolds. He’s not the most physically gifted player, but has good instincts in coverage, rarely missed tackles in college, has good ball skills, and showed a knack for big plays with three pick-6s in 2012. Reynolds may not be ready to play significant minutes yet, but could be a more reliable long-term option than either Brock Vereen or Sherrod Martin.