4. DeMarquis Gates is getting closer to the Chicago Bears roster
If you remember last season, you remember Demarcus Gates was lighting things up in the preseason and in training camp. He came from the XFL and was one of the best players in the XFL when the league was going on.
Then, he came to the Chicago Bears training camp and kept that momentum rolling. However, the shift-up was obviously a transition, and he was playing in the second half of a lot of preseason games.
So, the team opted to keep him on the practice squad rather than stick him on the active roster. Still, after weeks on the practice squad, the team did call him up late into the season. It was a lost season, and most of his play was on special teams, but Gates was able to see what it was like to make an NFL roster.
Now, he is entering his second season with the Chicago Bears. He still has an uphill climb to make the roster, and he is going to fight for his life to earn that spot. However, things did just get easier because the team had just released Sterling Weatherford.
Weatherford was released by another team at the end of the summer last year, and he made the roster over Demarcus Gates. The team kept six linebackers last season for the majority of the year.
When you count it out there are four of these choices: Tremaine Edmunds, TJ Edwards, Jack Sanborn, and Noah Sewell.
You could argue that Dylan Cole is the fifth option mainly because he is a better special teams player. His addition in free agency may be why the team got rid of Weatherford to begin with. So there are five linebackers ahead of Gates right now. He could make the roster as the sixth linebacker if he wanted to; however, it will take a strong summer and a lot of plays on special teams and defense to make that happen. This is another situation where his six-linebacker spot will be compared to six wide receivers, six cornerbacks, and other positions rather than comparing him to guys like Sewell and Sanborn.