The Bears have made the last of their cuts (to get the roster down to 53 players) and most of these cuts come as no surprise to many but there are a couple that seem to leave us scratching our heads. The Bears have done what they can to make their roster regular season ready and have let go those players they felt would be best for their roster and let those go that they felt wouldn’t fit in Chicago.
The following is a breakdown of all the players that the Bears have cut during the final cut down, why they were cut and whether or not they may get picked up by another team or even land on the Bear’s practice squad.
Tim Shaw-LB-Shaw was an outstanding special teams player for the Bears in 2009 but he struggled playing linebacker in training camp and during the preseason. Essentially, he was beaten out by linebacker Brian Iwuh (incidentally Iwuh beat him out in Jacksonville as well). He could get called back if the Bears have an injury and need the help on special teams.
Al Afalava-S-Afalava started 13 games last season for the Bears and although he played well, he didn’t play well enough this preseason to earn a roster spot. Afalava is sure to find work somewhere else in the NFL and it’s not out of the question to think that the Bears might bring him back if one of their safeties gets injured during the season.
Kevin Malast-LB-A victim of numbers, Malast helped the Bears out at times last season but didn’t find a roster spot this season. He has talent, not starting talent and would be a good reserve somewhere in the NFL. He could end up on the Bears practice squad or the practice squad of another team in the league.
Freddie Barnes-WR-Barnes has an outstanding college career but it wasn’t good enough to keep him with the Bears during the regular season. Clearly a victim of a numbers game at the position, Barnes should be able to find work or a practice squad spot somewhere and may end up back with the Bears on their practice squad at some point.
Richard Angulo-TE-The Bears decided to keep four tight ends and Angulo was the odd man out. He had a quiet preseason and we really didn’t get to see much of him until the last game of the preseason against the Cleveland Browns. It might be difficult for Angulo to find a spot somewhere in the NFL but if someone likes his talent, he could end up being on a practice squad and get another chance to make a roster next season.
Cornelius Brown-CB-Another victim of the numbers game at a position, Brown showed some flashes in training camp but it wasn’t enough to make the active roster. He could find a spot on the Bears practice squad if he clears waivers but with several defensive backs cut and playing better than Brown, he may have to find work elsewhere in the league.
Woodny Turrene-CB-Turrene had a very good game against the Browns but just couldn’t crack the starting lineup for the second year in a row. He does have practice squad eligibility and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him back on the Bear’s practice squad especially because the team really seems to like him.
Quentin Scott-S-Scott had a quiet camp and didn’t do a lot to help himself make the active roster. He may not have enough time on tape to interest other teams so unless the Bears value him enough to bring him back and put him on the practice squad he may have to develop his talents in the semi pro leagues or the AFL and then take a crack at the NFL again next season.
Kelvin Smith-LB-Smith didn’t get enough time to participate in preseason games or in training camp practices so the Bears let him go. Smith, like Scott, doesn’t have a lot of tape time so it may be difficult for him to find a spot somewhere else in the NFL. It’s also doubtful that the Bears will bring him back onto their practice squad.
Tim Walter-C-With Olin Kreutz and Josh Beekman at the center position and Walter not tested at any other offensive line position, this cut was a no-brainer. Walter may end up finding some room on a practice squad somewhere out there or could even find his way back to Chicago and sit on their squad but it’s more likely that we have heard the last of Walter in the league.
Juaquin Iglesias-WR-The Bears had too much talent at the wide receiver position to keep Iglesias but they will probably hope that he somehow slips through waivers so that they can grab him and keep him on the practice squad. The problem with that is that Iglesias has a lot of upside and may not make it through waivers. This one does come as a bit of a head scratcher considering his potential and the fact that the Bears really didn’t give him too much of a chance.
Dan LeFevour-QB-This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to many. The Bears were going to keep three quarterbacks and after Todd Collins’ performance against the Browns the other night, LeFevour’s fate was sealed. If he clears waivers, you can bet real money that he will wind up on the Bear’s practice squad and develop there. If this happens, he will be in contention for a backup spot again next season.
Josh Beekman-G/C-This one comes as somewhat of a surprise especially considering the depth that the Bears have on the offensive line currently. Beekman had starting experience at the guard position and was also the only backup at the center position (for Olin Kreutz). So now the Bears go into the 2010 season with little experience (with backups) at the guard position and no one to back up Kreutz. Scary isn’t it?
Eddie Williams-FB-This one didn’t come as too big or a surprise since the Bears were keeping four tight ends. Williams has experience and could land somewhere in the NFL but for now he’s not in the Bears plans as they no longer need a true fullback in their offense.
Greg Matthews-Matthews had quite a few drops in training camp and during some of the preseason games so he didn’t really have a shot to make the roster as it was. He could come back to the Bears as a member of the practice squad but it’s more likely that they will look for other players to bring in leaving Matthews to find work somewhere else.
Jarron Gilbert-DE/DT-After watching Gilbert in training camp it wasn’t too much of a shock that the Bears let him go during the final cut down this Saturday. Still, it’s disturbing to think that the Bears third round pick (and their first) in 2009 wasn’t good enough to make the team in his second year in the NFL. Does this signal the fact that the management staff, coaching staff and scouting department are not solid talent evaluators? Perhaps but the Bears need to be very wary of how they draft from now on.
Edwin Williams-OL-Williams was picked up just a few days ago but didn’t have what it takes to make the active roster for the Bears. He does have some starting experience in the league and may be able to find a spot with another team still.
Aaron Webster-S-Not enough experience really hurt Webster who has a quiet and unspectacular training camp. He may end up on another practice squad somewhere in the NFL but the Bears will probably not have him back again.
James Marten-OL-The Bears seemed to really like Marten and some felt that he had as good a chance as any to stick on the final roster as a backup but apparently he just didn’t have enough to make it. Like a few of the other players that were cut, he does have a strong chance of making the practice squad when/if he clears waivers. If he does look for him to be back in Bears camp next season vying for a backup offensive line position.
Mick Williams-DT-Even a strong showing against the Browns but that wasn’t enough to earn him a roster spot on the Bear’s 53 man roster. He may end up a part of the Bears practice squad especially since it appeared that the Bears really liked his talent. We may see him again soon.
Levi Horn-OL-Horn was the last guy on the depth chart in terms of those players on the offensive line so it wasn’t too much of a surprise that they let Horn go. There is an outside chance that he might make it onto the team’s practice squad but it’s not that likely so look for Horn to either find some work somewhere else in the NFL or slowly fade away.
Barry Turner-DL-The Bears coaching staff had remarked how much they liked Turner but like so many other players, he just didn’t have enough to make the active roster. Turner may wind up coming back onto the team as a practice squad member but there may be some other teams out there that like him so he may not be back with the Bears when it’s all said and done.