5 Veteran Chicago Bears who are likely to be cut this offseason

Chicago Bears - Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Bears, Duke Shelley
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Chicago Bears veteran likely to be cut this offseason: Duke Shelley, CB

There is no reason in my opinion for this team to keep Duke Shelley this season. Shelley has seen plenty of snaps both on defense and special teams. He was a sixth-round pick in 2019 who saw eight percent of the Bears’ defensive snaps and 24 percent of the special teams snaps his rookie year. Those percentages jumped to 29% on defense and 30% on special teams in his second season (2020). Finally, the defensive snaps jumped again in 2021 to 61%.

We have enough tape to realize exactly what Duke Shelley is as a player — it is not good enough in my opinion. From a coverage standpoint, Shelley is burned way too often. He allowed 80% of his targets to be completed in 2020 and 74% of his targets to be completed last year. Quarterbacks have enjoyed a 100.0+ QB rating while throwing in his direction over the last two years also.

Shelley is in the final year of his rookie contract. He is set to earn just shy of $1 million and would only cost the Chicago Bears $32,000 in dead cap should they cut him. That’s basically $950,000 in salary cap savings to be rolled over into 2023 or used on a different player this offseason.

Just like the safety position, the Bears kept four cornerbacks last year. If the Chicago Bears choose to keep the same amount this year, then Jaylon Johnson, Kyler Gordon, and Tavon Young are locks. This leaves one spot available for either Kindle Vildor, Duke Shelley, Thomas Graham or Lamar Jackson. It’s posible that that team even keeps five corners, but I’d imagine that Vildor and Graham are kept over Shelley.