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Chicago Bears Roster 2013: Latest Cuts, Depth Charts and Analysis

Zach KruseSenior Analyst IAugust 26, 2013

Chicago Bears Roster 2013: Latest Cuts, Depth Charts and Analysis

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    The Chicago Bears have a few hurdles between now and the start of the 2013 season, which will feature a new head coach (Marc Trestman) and an unfamiliar absence at middle linebacker (Brian Urlacher). 

    Maybe the most important hoop left to jump through is the trimming of the roster. 

    The Bears must be at 75 players by 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, August 27, and at 53 by 6:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 31. The deadlines mean a number of cuts are in store over the course of this week. 

    In the following slides, we'll update you on the very latest happenings regarding the Bears roster, while also providing up-to-the-second depth charts and possible practice squad signings. 

List of 53-Man Roster Cuts

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    The Bears needed to cut down their roster to 53 players by 6 p.m. ET on Saturday. 

    Here's the full list of releases the Bears made, via the team's official site:

    • Jordan Palmer, QB
    • Josh Lenz, WR
    • J'Marcus Webb, OT
    • Brandon Hardin, CB
    • Tom Nelson, S
    • Edwin Williams, G/C
    • Jerry Franklin, LB
    • Trent Edwards, QB
    • Brandon Hartson, LS
    • Brittan Golden, WR
    • Derek Dennis, G
    • Fendi Onobun, TE
    • Harvey Unga, RB
    • Aston Whiteside, DL
    • Josh Williams, DL
    • Christian Tupou, DL
    • Demontre Hurst, CB
    • Armando Allen, RB
    • J.T. Thomas, LB
    • Cory Brandon, OT
    • Corvey Irvin, DL

    The Bears finally gave up on Webb after three years of him starting on the left side of the offensive line. He took a paycut but didn't show enough as a swing tackle to stick around in 2013. 

    Giving up on Hardin must have been a difficult decision for general manager Phil Emery, who drafted the big corner in the third round just last year. A good athlete at 6'3" and nearly 220 pounds, Hardin struggled to stay on the field.

    Edwards and Palmer, both veteran quarterbacks signed after injury struck the position, were released. Chicago has just two quarterbacks on the roster. 

Final Depth Chart

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    Below is the Bears' unofficial 53-man depth chart following final cuts:

    QB: Jay Cutler, Josh McCown

    RB: Matt Forte, Michael Bush, Michael Ford

    FB: Tony Fiammetta

    WR: Brandon Marshall, Earl Bennett, Marquess Wilson

    WR: Alshon Jeffery, Joe Anderson, Eric Weems 

    TE: Martellus Bennett, Steve Maneri, Dante Rosario, Kyle Adams

    LT: Jermon Bushrod

    LG: Matt Slauson, Taylor Boggs

    C: Roberto Garza

    RG: Kyle Long, James Brown

    RT: Jordan Mills, Eben Britton

    DE: Julius Peppers, David Bass

    DT: Henry Melton

    DT: Stephen Paea, Nate Collins, Zach Minter

    DE: Corey Wootton, Shea McClellin, Cornelius Washington

    OLB: James Anderson, Blake Costanzo

    MLB: D.J. Williams, Jon Bostic

    OLB: Lance Briggs, Khaseem Greene

    CB: Tim Jennings, Zack Bowman, Sherrick McManis, C.J. Wilson

    FS: Chris Conte, Craig Steltz

    SS: Major Wright, Anthony Walters

    CB: Charles Tillman, Isaiah Frey

    K: Robbie Gould

    P: Adam Podlesh

    LS: Patrick Mannelly

Previewing and Analyzing the Practice Squad

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    The Bears can retain up to eight players on the practice squad. Below, we'll list the players signed (via the Bears official Twitter account):

    • QB Jerrod Johnson: The Seahawks waived Johnson back in June. With the Bears carrying only two quarterbacks on the active roster, adding another was almost a given. Johnson is 25 years old but hasn't played a regular-season snap since entering the league in 2011. (UPDATE: The Bears waived Johnson Wednesday and signed guard Derrick Dennis to the practice squad, per the team's official Twitter account.) Dennis was released during final cut downs.)
    • TE Fendi Onobun: Like quarterback, tight end required the Bears to add an extra man. Onobun spent all of camp with Chicago.  
    • RB Harvey Unga: The Bears elevated Unga from the practice squad last December when injuries struck the running back position. He'll add continued depth as a safety blanket on the practice squad.
    • DE Aston Whiteside: The Bears simply had too much depth at defensive end for Whiteside to crack the 53-man roster. The athletic pass rusher will now get a continued opportunity in Chicago while serving on the practice squad.
    • LB Jerry Franklin: Chicago claimed Franklin off the Cowboys' practice squad late last season. He's jumped around the NFL since entering as an undrafted free agent, but the Bears must think he's worth developing. 
    • CB Demontre Hurst: He couldn't crack the roster after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma. He's quick and aggressive, but his lack of size hurt his chances. He'll now have time to add bulk.
    • WR Ricardo Lockette: Despite possessing great size and speed, Lockette hasn't been able to hold a steady job in the NFL. He needs seasoning as a player despite being 27 years old. 
    • OT Jamal Johnson-Webb: The Bears aren't yet done with a Webb at offensive tackle. This version is an undrafted free agent who originally signed with the Arizona Cardinals following April's draft. 

Recently Cut Free Agents Chicago Bears Are Rumored to Be Pursuing

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    Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago expects the Bears to scour the free-agent market for another tight end. The team cut Fendi Onobun Friday, leaving Chicago with just three tight ends on the roster.

Starters and Injury Notes

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    If Week 1 of the 2013 season was today, the Chicago Bears would likely start the following lineup on offense and defense:

    Starters 

    QB: Jay Cutler

    RB: Matt Forte

    FB: Tony Fiammetta

    WR: Brandon Marshall

    WR: Alshon Jeffery

    TE: Martellus Bennett

    LT: Jermon Bushrod 

    LG: Matt Slauson

    C: Roberto Garza

    RG: Kyle Long

    RT: Jordan Mills

    DE: Julius Peppers

    DT: Henry Melton

    DT: Stephen Paea 

    DE: Corey Wootton 

    OLB: James Anderson

    MLB: D.J. Williams, Jon Bostic

    OLB: Lance Briggs

    CB: Charles Tillman

    FS: Chris Conte

    SS: Major Wright

    CB: Tim Jennings

     

    Injury Notes

    LB D.J. Williams (calf): Listed as day-to-day. If completely healthy for Week 1, the Bears will have to decide between the veteran and rookie Jon Bostic at middle linebacker. 

    WR Earl Bennett (concussion): Week-to-week. Bennett is in line to be the Bears' No. 3 receiver and the main man in the slot. 

    DT Henry Melton (concussion): Expected to be ready for Week 1. Melton has a limited concussion history, which bodes well for his chances to play in the opener. 

    OT Jonathan Scott (knee): Day-to-day. His chances at winning a role along the offensive line shrunk when he hurt his knee.

List of First Round of Cuts and General Analysis

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    The Chicago Bears made 14 cuts Sunday, per Michael Wright of ESPN Chicago. The moves trimmed their roster from 90 to 76. On Tuesday, the Bears waived quarterback Matt Blanchard via an injury settlement to get to 75 players, via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Here's the full list of first-round cuts:

    • Tom Zbikowski, S
    • Kyle Moore, DE (pictured)
    • Devin Aromashodu, WR
    • Curtis Brinkley, RB
    • Brent Russell, DT
    • Eric Foster, DT
    • A.J. Lindeman, OT
    • P.J. Lonergan, C
    • Derrick Martin, S
    • Gabe Miller, TE
    • Leonard Pope, TE
    • Patrick Trahan, LB
    • Lawrence Wilson, LB
    • Tress Way, P
    • Matt Blanchard, QB

    The first round of cuts featured few surprises. Fringe veterans such as Zbikowski, Moore and Aromashodu were cut during the first phase to help aid in their search for new clubs, while the rest of the departing players were long shots to make the team in the first place.

     

Depth Chart Post 75-Man Roster Cuts and Previewing 53-Man Roster Cuts

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    Here's a quick look at the Bears depth chart following the team's cut down to 75 players:

    QB: Jay Cutler, Josh McCown, Trent Edwards, Jordan Palmer

    RB: Matt Forte, Michael Bush, Armando Allen, Michael Ford

    FB: Tony Fiammetta, Harvey Unga

    WR: Brandon Marshall, Earl Bennett, Marquess Wilson, Terrence Toliver, Josh Lenz

    WR: Alshon Jeffery, Joe Anderson, Eric Weems, Brittan Golden

    TE: Martellus Bennett, Steve Maneri, Kyle Adams, Fendi Onobun

    LT: Jermon Bushrod, Jonathan Scott, Eben Britton

    LG: Matt Slauson, Taylor Boggs, Derek Dennis

    C: Roberto Garza, Edwin Williams

    RG: Kyle Long, James Brown

    RT: Jordan Mills, J'Marcus Webb, Cory Brandon

    DE: Julius Peppers, Cheta Ozougwu

    DT: Henry Melton, Corvey Irvin, Aston Whiteside

    DT: Stephen Paea, Nate Collins, Zach Minter, Christian Tupou

    DE: Corey Wootton, Shea McClellin, Cornelius Washington, Josh Williams

    OLB: James Anderson, Blake Costanzo, J.T. Thomas

    MLB: D.J. Williams, Jon Bostic

    OLB: Lance Briggs, Khaseem Greene, Jerry Franklin

    CB: Tim Jennings, Zack Bowman, Sherrick McManis, C.J. Wilson

    FS: Chris Conte, Craig Steltz, Tom Nelson

    SS: Major Wright, Anthony Walters, Brandon Hardin

    CB: Charles Tillman, Isaiah Frey, Demontre Hurst 

     

    Projected Cuts

    DE Josh Williams: The Bears have both talent and depth at defensive end. Maybe he can squeeze onto the practice squad.

    OLB J.T. Thomas: Chicago can feel good about its top four at outside linebacker, and Thomas simply hasn't played well enough during the preseason. 

    WR Brittan Golden: The Bears currently have nine receivers, leaving more than one or two necessary cuts. Golden seems like a sure bet to be released at some point before or during final cutdowns. 

    QB Trent Edwards: Matt Blanchard's hand injury has opened the door for one of the veteran quarterbacks to possibly earn a roster spot. Palmer might have the leg up currently. 

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