With the NFL offseason program scheduled to start next week and the NFL draft just 18 days away, NFL teams will prepare their rosters for the draft and undrafted free agents. For the Bears, their roster sits at 78 after the recent signing of CB B.W Webb. And with seven draft picks and UDFA’s the Bears will sign, more cuts should be coming.
The Bears are re-building. GM Ryan Pace has done a good job in signing young free agents. It was Pace who in just one year the Bears went from one of the oldest teams in the NFL to one of the youngest. The roster needed a total revamp and a lot is still to be done, but the arrow is pointing up for this franchise.
There are a few more players that could be cut in the coming days. Let’s take a look at the players that make the most sense of being cut from the team.
Eddie Royal’s name has been involved in being cut for months now. His inability to stay healthy has hurt his chances of coming back. When healthy, Royal can really help the offense and is serviceable in the punt return game. Royal put together some solid games last season, but only appeared in 9 games.
With the additions of Markus Wheaton and Kendall Wright, Royal seems to be on the way out. And with a deep WR class, the Bears should draft a rookie somewhere in the draft. Plus, cutting Royal saves $5 million dollars toward the cap. I expect him to be cut in the coming days.
After tearing his ACL midway through the 2014 season, Houston played all sixteen games in 2015, totalling 8.0 sacks. It was good to see production out of the former second round pick. Looking to contribute in a big way again last season, Houston tore his ACL against the Eagles on September 19th. His second major knee injury in two season became a question mark for his durability and spot on the Bears going forward.
Cutting Houston would leave the Bears with only three pass rushers on the roster (Leonard Floyd, Pernell McPhee, Willie Young). But pass rushers are another deep position in the NFL draft, the Bears should be selecting one or even two in the draft.
When healthy, Houston can be productive. But considering all the injuries last year, the Bears need availability.
The Bears signed Tracy Porter back in 2015. A journeyman cornerback but had his share of success. Porter appeared in 14 games in his first season in Chicago, and all 16 games last season. So why is he on the cut radar?
The Bears made the secondary a priority this offseason. While they did not land the big names on the market, they were able to land some quality veterans. Marcus Cooper and Prince Amukamara have joined the crowded CB group in Chicago. While the Bears plan to try Kyle Fuller and Deiondre’ Hall at safety, Porter is being pushed down on the depth chart.
You could see it in the tape last season that Porter is losing a step on opposing wide receivers. While he may have appeared in every game, he was dealing with knee problems all season. His speed from a year ago. Being 30 years old now, it makes a lot of sense considering the signings and the direction of the team that Porter is waived.