Here are the cuts as I rank them from least to most surprising:
29. QB Zach Dysert: Ryan Pace claimed Dysert off waivers after he was cut by Denver earlier this week. He completed 1-4 passes for 4 yards in his only preseason game.
28. CB Qumain Black: In 37 career games at East Central, Black collected 7 interceptions, 131 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 1 sack and 17 pass breakup. On special teams, he totaled 5 punt returns for 12 yards and 39 kickoff returns for 881 yards. The undrafted free agent was once heralded as a special teams ace, but couldn’t make the cut.
27. DT Terry Williams: Williams went undrafted out of ECU and was signed by the Bears after the draft. He could have provided bulk and size, but his skills weren’t up to par.
26. TE Bear Pascoe: No surprise here, Pascoe’s talent is long gone. The Bears had 8 tight ends on their roster, and several have been cut. More on that later.
25. WR Rashad Lawrence: After being signed and waived from the Washington Redskins, Pace took a chance claiming UFA Northwestern alum Lawrence. With Joshua Bellamy and Cameron Meredith among others ahead of him on the depth chart, no one thought he had much of a shot anyways.
24. OT Conor Boffeli: Boffeli was signed as a UFA by the Vikings last season, and didn’t impress in Minnesota. Same goes for Halas Hall.
23. TE Gannon Sinclair: Sinclair was just another tight end that didn’t make the roster. He was initially signed by the Cardinals, but he didn’t work out there either.
22. WR A.J. Cruz: Cruz spent a year playing in the Arena Football League in ‘14. He was a standout DB at Brown, but was signed as a wideout. Needless to say, he didn’t make it in Halas Hall.
21. LB Matthew Wells: Wells was drafted in the 6th round by the Patriots out of Mississippi State. There he was overshadowed by fellow linebacker and 2nd round pick to the Texans Benardrick McKinney. The speedy prospect was traded to the Bears for OL Ryan Groy. Wells proved that he could not push Jonathan Bostic or David Bass for the 3rd and 4th string inside linebacker positions.
20. DL Olson Pierre: Pierre was an exciting DE/DT prospect out of Miami (FL). He went undrafted because of character concerns and proved that he could not live up to the hype that previously had him as a draft pick.
19. TE Kevin Greene: The Bears signed Greene, a second year player out of USC, for the veteran minimum during the summer. While there were many TE prospects, I considered Greene a frontrunner for the 3rd or 4th tight end slot. Obviously, the Bears need 2 max 3 TEs on their roster come Saturday.
18. WR Jeremy Kelley: Ryan Pace took a flier on Kelley when they cut DeDe Lattimore. He was initially in Denver, but they waived him. kelley proved too small to be a possession receiver and too slow to be a deep threat. But a very nice speculative add for Pace and Co.
17. WR John Chiles: After playing his college ball at Texas, Chiles was signed by the Saints after the 2011 draft. He bounced around the league and ended up in blue and orange. Injuries and off the field concerns hampered his career, and eventually saw him cut before the season.
16. LS Rick Lovato: Lovato was one of the many long snappers brought in to replace the longest tenured Bears player ever, Patrick Mannelly. Mannelly could be headed to Canton. Needless to say, Lovato is not Patrick Mannelly.
15. WR Ify Umodu: Umodu seemed like a safe bet to make the roster after catching his latest preseason touchdown pass, but the coaching staff obviously thought differently of the UFA out of Northern Arizona. This one surprised me, as Umodu has had a spectacular preseason. He won’t be out of work long.
14. TE Chris Pantale: Chris was signed after being cut by the New York Jets in the early summer. Initially brought in to possibly replace Martellus Bennett during his dramatic holdout, Pantale stayed on the roster because of his blocking skills. That proved to be not enough, as these most recent cuts have him looking for a job.
13. OG Lucas Nix: The Pitt Panthers product was initially drafted by Oakland, but he was cut before the first preseason game. He never showed the promise he did in college, and couldn’t make the roster.
12. QB Shane Carden: I have to say, I wasn’t top surprised about this one, but I was really bummed out. Carden played really well in his 4 years at ECU as a dual threat. He fell through the draft and was signed by the Bears. Ryan Pace was quoted saying “We feel very fortunate to sign Shane. This is a guy that we said ‘If he falls through, we have to get him’”. In fairness, he was badly outplayed by 2014 sixth rounder David Fales for the 3rd string QB job.
11. OL Cameron Jefferson: Jefferson played at UNLV and Arkansas, but proved he couldn’t make it in the NFL. His footwork and football IQ weren’t up to par.
10. S Malcolm Bronson: The Kansas City Chiefs signed Bronson, an undrafted free agent out of Louisiana, in 2013. He was cut by them and signed by Chicago. With the Bears set at safety with Vereen Amos Rolle and possibly Bryce Callahan, he was not needed in Chi-Town.
9. RB Daniel Thomas: Thomas played his college football at Kansas State. A highly touted prospect coming into the draft, Thomas was selected by the Dolphins in the second round (62nd overall) of the 2011 Draft.
8. CB Jacoby Glenn: An undrafted free agent out of UCF, Glenn was a promising signing for the Bears. A thin, rangy talent, Glenn didn’t have the football IQ to make it in the league.
7. CB Al Louis-Jean Jr: ALJ was a UFA out of Boston College and was signed by the Bears after the 2014 draft. He stuck around for the season because of special teams contributions, but proved that he can’t make the transition to a true cover corner. The Bears are set at the corner spot, so fan favorite Louis Jean couldn’t stick around.
6. CB Sherrod Martin: A surprise here, as Sherrod Martin was considered to be a good bet to make the 53 man roster. A second round pick (59th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft to the Carolina Panthers, Martin’s first career start netted him 2 interceptions. He stuck around there until 2012, and was signed by the Jags. After failing to impress in Jacksonville, he moved on to Chicago. Many believed that he would be a special teams contributor, but Pace and Co. thought otherwise.
5. OL Michael Ola: Ola was, in my opinion, a lock to make the roster. The Bears thought differently. Ola appeared several times in replacement of the injured Matt Slauson and struggling Jordan Mills last season, and was serviceable. Nevertheless, Ola failed to beat out Charles Leno Jr., Tayo Fabuluje, and new acquisition Vlad Duccasse but is a candidate for the practice squad.
4. ILB Mason Foster: This one shocked me as well as the rest of the Chicago Bears faithful. Mason Foster was a third round selection out of the University of Washington. He played very well in Tampa Bay, but got hurt and missed much of the season last season. Even so, Foster was a highly regarded and highly touted name coming into free agency, but failed to negotiate a contract with all of his suitors. After a couple very disappointing workouts, he agreed to the veteran minimum salary in Chicago ($800,000). Many still assumed him a starter at inside linebacker with McClellin and Christian Jones fighting for the other spot, but Foster failed to play up to the previous hype that had long abandoned him.
3. RT Jordan Mills: Wow. Once in the conversation for the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2013, Mills had an abysmal 2014 season. No one thought he would get cut for it though. There was a lot of uncertainty regarding the Bears offensive line in general, but the signing of Vlad Duccasse spelled disaster for Mills. He shouldn’t be out of work long, though.
2. TE Dante Rosario: The cutting of TE Dante Rosario was a huge surprise. Rosario is a phenomenal all around talent at the tight end position and is probably one of the better tight ends in the league. It turns out that the new arrival of Khari Lee in exchange for a 2017 7th rounder doomed the former 5th round pick out of Oregon. The 8 year veteran played for the Panthers, Broncos, Chargers, and Cowboys in past seasons. This means that Lee, incumbent starter Martellus Bennett, and former Seahawk Zach Miller are the only tight ends left in Chi-Town.
THANK YOU TIM JENNINGS
Instead of analyzing it, I think we and the rest of the Chicago Bears faithful owe Tim Jennings a huge thank you for all of his great years as a Bear. So, from the bottom of our heart, thank you Tim Jennings for all of the work you put in wearing blue and orange. You will be sorely missed.