9 Most Disappointing Chicago Bears Who Must Be Cut This Offseason
The Bears disappointing season really boils down to the loss of starting QB Jay Cutler. I firmly believe if Cutler had stayed healthy, or if Caleb Hanie was any good, that the Bears would have made the playoffs.
Yet that alone doesn't explain why the Bears finished 8-8 on the season. There were disappointments throughout the roster, and there are several players who will not return in 2012.
Now, some of these guys who made my list may be unrestricted free agents who will walk on their own. Nevertheless, they are players who I feel should not return, as Chicago needs an upgrade.
Let's take a look at the Bears players that should get cut this offseason. Roll the tape please.
When the Bears brought Roy Williams in as a free agent from Dallas (one of three former Cowboys on the roster), they did so based primarily on how well he succeeded in the Mike Martz offense.
In 2006 with the Detroit Lions, to be specific. He had his only 1,000-yard season that year (1,310 to be exact).
But that was a long time ago and Williams clearly wasn't that guy for the Bears fans saw in 2011. He had alligator arms, dropped passes, and refused to accept any accountability or blame.
He is a legend in his own mind.
In all, he had 37 receptions for 507 yards and two touchdowns. So, goodbye Roy and take your ex-Cowboys with you (actually, Sam Hurd was already released).
Those New England Patriots are a smart team. So when they release a player you have to figure he deserved it. And that's exactly what the Bears learned about Meriweather—he deserved it and he deserves it again.
Meriweather was a huge disappointment, although the cover-2 is truly not a coverage that he would figure to do well in.
He is more of a freelancer, and cover-2 requires corners and safeties that "stay home" and stick to their assignments.
Meriweather was so bad last season that the Bears turned to Craig Steltz, a man they were probably ready to say goodbye to after this season.
But in the end, perhaps Meriweather's signing was good for one thing—it provided Steltz one last opportunity and he did very well.
Technically, Hanie won't be released as he is a free agent, so he just won't be re-signed. But there is no doubt that he did nothing to help his stock as a future QB in the NFL.
Given the chance of a lifetime, with a 7-3 Bears team seemingly headed for the playoffs and a starting gig courtesy of the Jay Cutler injury, Hanie flopped miserably.
No, it wasn't all his fault as the protection broke down (once again) and his receiver corps weren't very good.
But Hanie made bad decisions, and except for his running ability, he just didn't look like an NFL QB to me.
I realize this one will be controversial. After all, he is young (23) and the Bears have no viable replacement for him at left tackle.
But I have seen enough to know that Webb just isn't going to be a good left tackle, as he just hasn't shown improvement.
I'm sure the Bears won't let him go; in fact, he will likely be back once again in 2012 protecting Cutler's blindside.
But if the Bears can sign or draft a tackle, I sure wouldn't do anything more than keep him around as an insurance policy.
In fact, if he wasn't coming off surgery, I would even suggest the Bears look at Gabe Carimi in that position next season, despite scouts saying he doesn't have the footwork for left tackle.
This is an area that needs an upgrade. The problem is, however, that good left tackles are hard to find on the open market.
I know—the kid is young and hasn't had an opportunity. But from what I have heard, Martz was the only one in the draft room to push for this kid.
So, now that he is gone, the Bears should bring in another young QB to groom.
After all, Enderle is not mobile, and while Martz may like his QB to stand in the pocket to let his complicated routes develop, that will get you killed in today's NFL.
Now this is a tough one for me, as Barber didn't have a bad season. He certainly was much better than last year's backup, Chester Taylor.
Barber may have rushed for 422 yards in 114 carries—a 3.7 yard per carry average—but his fumblitis and his brain cramps are too much for me.
Plus, there are two other positives that can come out of this move. First, the Bears can use the money saved to help pay draft picks and free agent signees.
Second, it will put Kahlil Bell in his rightful place as the backup to Matt Forte.
Omiyale can be a very frustrating player to watch. At times, he looks competent and at other times, he gets tentative and looks like he cannot block anyone.
I have seen all I care to see from this guy and would release him at this point. I would think there are better options in free agency and the draft for depth.
If long snapper Patrick Mannelly is healthy enough to return, and he doesn't decide to retire, then there is no place for Massey.
He came in and did a decent job when Mannelly got hurt. There were no truly bad snaps detected, but how many long snappers can a team afford to carry?
Bowman has been around seemingly forever, but he has failed to ever be healthy enough or good enough to take a starting job.
I'm sure with all the turmoil and uncertainty in the Bears secondary, including potential free agents, it might be tempting for the Bears to bring Bowman back.
While I'm sure they could get him back for cheap, it's just not worth it. It's time to cut bait with Bowman.