The Bears have several players on the roster that will remain under contract into the 2017 season. These are the guys that they will probably decide to keep and use. However, there may be a couple of salary cap casualties out of this group.
Tracy Porter has become somewhat of a liability and this was evident last season. He’s got a strong veteran presence but is injured often and while he doesn’t miss much time, his injuries really hamper his ability to play effectively. And he is on the downside of his career. Should the Bears keep him one more season or let him go? They really can’t afford to let him walk because they don’t have an adequate replacement. But he’s not the guy he used to be.
Kyle Fuller made a lot of waves during the 2016 season for not being able to return from a knee scope he had in the pre-season. He received some criticism from defensive coordinator Vic Fangio but General Manager Ryan Pace made it sound like he is in their plans for 2017. But will he be healthy and will the Bears tolerate what they experienced with him in 2016? Is he reliable?
A possible scenario for Fuller is that he could be traded to a willing partner. But who will take him? There aren’t too many teams that would want a guy that didn’t seem motivated enough to play. It’s going to be a tough call with him.
Sherrick McMannis has been a quiet help at cornerback and should remain with the team. He does struggle to crack the starting lineup but does provide good depth. McMannis is very valuable on special teams which means he will probably stay on the roster in 2017.
Deiondre’ Hall is coming off his first NFL season, a season in which he played in just eight games. The Bears will hope that he is healthy enough to contribute in 2017. He has some good skill and ability but needs some experience to develop and help improve the Bears secondary. He’s a keeper.
Rashaad Reynolds was signed to the practice squad at the end of December. He’s going to be in training camp when the Bears open it up and has a shot to make the team. He’s not going to crack the starting lineup but he can provide some depth. At the very least, he will be a training camp body.
Jacoby Glenn saw some action last season and was hot and cold. He will get a shot to make the team and should have a great chance at sticking. He proved that he can play but still has a lot of learning to do, like most of the guys at cornerback (on the Bears). Could he even earn a starting spot?
Cre’Von LeBlanc is a player this writer has mixed feelings about. His numbers are good but when you watch him play he looks terrible sometimes (does anyone else see this?). He’s still young and has a lot to learn. He could grow into a starting role someday and the Bears will give him every opportunity to make the team in training camp. LeBlanc could even be the team’s nickel back in 2017. He should easily make the team and be a contributor in 2017.
DeVante Bausby played in four games for Chicago in 2016 spending the rest of his time being shuffled to the active roster and then to the practice squad. He’s another guy that’s going to get a shot at making the roster. Bausby could land as a backup/special teams player when the final roster is settled before the start of next season. He has some talent but just hasn’t put it together yet.
Just about all of these guys should make it to training camp. But which one’s will make the active roster in 2017? That’s a story for another day.