Todays’ 4 PM deadline for teams to cut down rosters to 53-players saw the Chicago Bears make some surprising roster moves. I covered their first round of cuts yesterday and also made my predictions for the last round of cuts. As usual, I was wrong about plenty of them. I was actually right on some of my more controversial picks, but some guys I thought were sure things didn’t make it. I’ll break down the Bears latest cuts and PUP assignments below:
PUP List: The Bears placed two players on the physically unable to perform list who won’t be eligible to play until week 7 at the earliest.
1) OLB Pernell McPhee – This was the biggest disappointment of the day. I at least was hoping that McPhee would be ready by week two or three, instead he’ll be out until week seven at least. On the bright side, it will give rookie Leonard Floyd a chance to play earlier than expected and could give Christian Jones and Sam Acho more playing time as well. Regardless, it hurts the Bears chances to lose their best pass rusher from last year for the first six weeks of the season.
2.) WR Marquees Wilson – I’m not sure why the Bears keep giving Wilson chances as he can’t seem to stay healthy and hasn’t been productive when on the field. Like McPhee, Wilson will be unavailable until week 7. It’s unsure how much Wilson will play once he returns, but the Bears are clearly higher on Wilson’s potential than I am.
3.) RB Jacquizz Rodgers – This was one of the few I saw coming. Rodgers is a good pass blocker and special teams player, but his primary skill as a running back was his ability to be a change-of-pace back. Rodgers, is only 26, but appeared to have lost a step this season. He wasn’t making people miss in space and didn’t seem to have the same burst through the middle that he showed last year. The emergence of rookie Jordan Howard and short-yardage back Ka’Deem Carey, made keeping Rodgers redundant.
4.) WR/KR Marc Mariani – Wow. I thought Mariani was a sure thing after developing a solid rapport with Jay Cutler as a slot receiver last season. He had 22 catches and 19 of those went for a first down. That’s valaubale production. Not to mention that Mariani was the Bears primary punt returner. This move makes little sense to me as the Bears were already thin at the returner positon with the injury to Deonte Thompson. Perhaps Thompson is healthier than coaches have let on, despite not playing the last two preseason games. The strong play of Cameron Meredith in the Bears 4th preseason game and his ability to play outside or in the slot may have pushed Mariani off the roster.
5.) DL Ego Ferguson – This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone as Ego was a bust as a rookie, missed his 2nd season with injury, had a PED suspension, and didn’t flash any production until the Bears final preseason game. Too little, too late for Ego who is one of the Bears biggest busts in recent history as a 2nd round pick in 2014.
Next: More Roster Cuts