By: Alex Patt
The Chicago Bears have announced today that linebacker Pernell McPhee and safety Quintin Demps have been released. The veteran defenders were free agent signings by Ryan Pace that unfortunately did not work out in Chicago. Most of it was due to health reasons. This will create more room on the roster for new guys and some more cap space, which they already have plenty of.
The McPhee situation is really unfortunate because when the Bears got him in 2015, he looked good. That year he had arguably his career season with 42 tackles, 11 assists, six sacks and an interception in 14 games. Injuries derailed him the next year as he recorded just 13 tackles in in nine games, none of which he started. Last year he played in 13 games, started in five and recorded 20 tackles and four sacks before the injury bug hit him again. If he could have stayed healthy the last few years, he would probably still be here as a productive veteran presence, but that is not the case.
Meanwhile Quintin Demps only played in three games as a Bear before going on IR in late September. He recorded 11 tackles. Demps is already 32 and was really just a gap-filler during this rebuild period. Seemed obvious that he was going to be cut after the injury. Also too bad this did not work out either regardless because he came off a productive year in Houston in 2016 with 38 tackles and career-high six interceptions.
With Demps and McPhee out, the Bears have over $60-million in cap space. More room will be made when Mike Glennon is inevitably gone along with a few others like Wheaton and Cooper. As for the respective positions, this is what Pace will work on to fill in. It is another important offseason for him in terms of both drafting and signing free agents. Much of the secondary will probably be rebuilt within the draft with a few small free agent pickups. Just have to hope that the free agent acquisitions moving forward see better results than the previous ones.