The Bears first version of the 53 man roster came with few surprises, but it did come with a some. My biggest surprise is the addition of Pernell McPhee on the 53 man roster. All signs were pointing to McPhee headed to the PUP and some even mention the Designated to return injured reserve. I suppose this could go in the pleasant surprise category as McPhee is by all accounts the vocal leader of that unit who adds an element of toughness and of course, “Violence.” This is particularly good news after Lamarr Houston’s latest knee injury and the Bears decision to cut bait and save 7 million on the cap.
The second biggest was their decision to go with five Tight Ends and a Fullback. Most thought (myself included) that they would either keep 4 Tight Ends or three Tight Ends and a Fullback. So to keep five and a Fullback caught me and most off guard. It’s obvious the Bears will be a run first team. At least at first, and will either add elsewhere and then cut a Tight End before game one, or they’ll stick with it for awhile and see who plays better between Daniel Brown and Ben Braunecker.
Another bit of a surprise was the corresponding move of keeping only five Wide Receivers. Not necessarily the number itself but the fact they took the chance of cutting Tanner Gentry who has impressed in camp and in preseason games and appeared to have a nice rapport with Mitch Trubisky. It’s clear they want to put him on the practice squad and feel they can sneak him past the only two teams ahead of them in Cleveland and San Francisco. If they do reacquire Gentry I’d expect it’d be a short lived stint on the practice squad before he’s promoted after they feel he’s up to speed. It’ll also be interesting to see if the Bears pick up someone else’s cuts along the way at Wide Receiver.
Sticking with the Wide Receiver subject, I suppose the release of Victor Cruz was a surprise to some, however, I was not. He performed badly in preseason games and has age going against him.
Yet another surprise to some was keeping Mark Sanchez and going with three Quarterbacks. Not to me as I predicted it in my 53 man prediction piece. Now it’s very possible the Bears will pick up a Freshly cut Quarterback to put on their practice squad and then they’ll cut Sanchez after they feel he’s up to speed with the Bears offense. Then they’ll feel comfortable moving him to the 53 man roster as a backup should something unfortunate happen to one of their first two Quarterbacks on the depth chart. I think it’s inevitable the Bears will pick up others cuts. It’s only a matter of who, what position they play, and whether or not they go on the practice squad or the active roster.
BEARS FIRST 2017 FINAL 53 MAN ROSTER:
- Quarterback: Mike Glennon, Mark Sanchez, Mitch Trubisky
- Running back: Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen, Jeremy Langford, Benny Cunningham, Michael Burton
- Wide receiver: Kevin White, Kendall Wright, Markus Wheaton, Josh Bellamy, Deonte Thompson
- Tight end: Zach Miller, Dion Sims, Adam Shaheen, Daniel Brown, Ben Braunecker
- Offensive line: Charles Leno Jr., Kyle Long, Cody Whitehair, Josh Sitton, Bobby Massie, Hroniss Grasu, Tom Compton, Bradley Sowell
- Outside linebacker: Leonard Floyd, Willie Young, Pernell McPhee, Sam Acho
- Inside linebacker: Jerrell Freeman, Danny Trevathan, Nick Kwiatkoski, Christian Jones
- Defensive line: Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Mitch Unrein, Jonathan Bullard, Roy Robertson-Harris
- Cornerback: Prince Amukamara, Marcus Cooper, Kyle Fuller, Bryce Callahan, Cre’Von LeBlanc, Sherrick McManis
- Safety: Quintin Demps, Eddie Jackson, Adrian Amos, Deon Bush, Deiondre’ Hall
- Specialists: Connor Barth, Pat O’Donnell, Jeff Overbaugh