The Chicago Bears are getting ready for the start of training camp, and in the process, they are making small tweaks to the back end of the roster. The team signed wide receiver Isaiah Ford and now has brought in linebacker Buddy Johnson.
Chicago Bears sign linebacker Buddy Johnson
Buddy Johnson was a former fourth-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2021 NFL draft. However, he never caught on with the team. After spending one year on the Steelers practice squad, the team released him in training camp for the 2022 season.
Johnson spent 2022 on the practice squad with the San Francisco 49ers and the Houston Texans last season but did not get a call-up to the active roster. Now, he will look to catch on in his third NFL season with his fourth NFL team.
Most fans will see him as a training camp body to add depth in practice. This is fair, mainly because the position is stacked with depth. Yes, they added Tremaine Edmunds and TJ Edwards as the big names. They also brought in Noah Sewell via the draft, and they have Jack Sanborn returning healthy soon enough.
Beyond that, depth names such as Sterling Weatherford, Dylan Cole, and Demarquis Gates will all enter training camp with better cases to stick on the roster than Buddy Johnson. At the start, Johnson is staring at the 8th linebacker spot and is hoping to jump up from there. Even there will be a tough test in UDFA Micah Baskerville.
The Chicago Bears will have to make a correlating roster move, and that may be Sanborn. He missed most of OTAs and may not be fully recovered from his 2022 injury. The team may place Sanborn on the PUP for a few weeks until he is completely healed.
With that in mind, it would make sense to bring in another linebacker since they have the roster spot and need someone to fill the reps. Still, once Sanborn is cleared, Johnson or one of the depth names will need to get cut. Johnson has a week or so to prove he should stick and that some other LB should get cut.