The Bears released Eddie Royal on Thursday, and waived fullback Paul Lasike, defensive lineman Will Sutton, and center Cornelius Edison.
Royal, 30, signed a three-year deal with the Bears in 2015 worth $10 million dollars guaranteed. And this season, the final year of his deal, Royal’s $5M was non-guaranteed.
Royal has been unable to stay healthy during his time in Chicago, only appearing in 18 games during his two year stint with the Bears. The Virginia Tech product totaled 607 receiving yards with 3 touchdowns. Royal also returned 19 punts and scored just one touchdown.
When healthy, Royal was productive, but in the NFL, availability triumphs talent. And with the money non-guaranteed, this roster move was not a surprise.
After productive seasons in Denver and San Diego, Royal seemed like a great fit for the Bears. But the injuries only allowed him to appear in nine games in each of his two seasons.
Lasike, played football at BYU. Formally a rugby player, he signed with the Bears in 2015 and was designated to the practice squad. The New Zealand native signed a futures contract with the Bears on January 4th, 2016. Lasike was elevated to the active roster on October 5th, 2016. He was released on October 20th, then re-signed a day later to the practice squad. Lastly, he went back to the Bears active roster on November 12th, 2016.
Lasike appeared in three games last season, rushing three times for eight yards. He caught a pass for three yards.
The Bears signed UDFA FB Freddy Stevenson, FSU product, after the NFL draft and now is the only fullback on the roster. His chance to make the team goes up dramatically.
Sutton, 3rd round pick in 2014, failed to make an impact in Chicago. The former All-American at Arizona St., totaled no sacks while with the Bears.
Sutton was set to make nearly $2 million dollars this season, and with the signing of Jaye Howard, John Jenkins and Jonathan Bullard expected to have a bigger role, Sutton became the odd man out.
The other Bear waived on Thursday was offensive lineman Cornelius Edison. Edison has been with the Bears since 2015. He bounced around from the practice squad to the active roster, appearing in six games.
The Bears rookie camp is this weekend, May 12th- May 14th. Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains will speak to the media on Friday followed by DC Vic Fangio on Saturday.