Posted by Matt Clapp | 8/25/2013 11:10:00 PM | AJ Lindeman, Brent Russell, Curtis Brinkley, Derrick Martin, Devin Aromashodu, Eric Foster, Gabe Miller, Kyle Moore, Lawrence Wilson, Leonard Pope, Patrick Trahan, PJ Lonergan, Tom Zbikowski, Tress Way
The Chicago Bears have to get their roster down to 75 players by the NFL's 75-man roster-limit deadline on Tuesday at 3 PM CT, and that means they only have one more player to cut, as they waived 14 players on Sunday to get the current roster at 76 players.
The players the Bears chose to cut on Sunday are wide receiver Devin Aromashodu, running back Curtis Brinkley, defensive tackle Eric Foster, offensive tackle A.J. Lindeman, center P.J. Lonergan, safety Derrick Martin, tight end Gabe Miller, defensive end Kyle Moore, tight end Leonard Pope, defensive tackle Brent Russell, linebacker Patrick Trahan, punter Tress Way, linebacker Lawrence Wilson, and safety Tom Zbikowski.
The headlining cuts (in my opinion, at least) are of Aromashodu, Moore, Pope, Trahan, and Zbikowski.
Aromashodu, 29, is a big receiver at 6'2", 209, and impressed for the Bears in the final four games of 2009, when he caught 22 passes for 282 yards and four touchdowns. But since, he's only caught 47 passes with one touchdown over the last three seasons, the last two of which were with the Minnesota Vikings. He'll likely be a part of a 53-man NFL roster this season, but there was no room for him on a Bears team that is actually loaded with quality wide receiver depth for once. When it comes to Aromashodu vs. Joe Anderson/Marquess Wilson/Eric Weems, Anderson excelled on special teams in late 2012 and has looked impressive in camp at wide receiver, Weems is a three-to-four phase contributor on special teams, and Wilson is a 2013 draft choice that has an exciting skillset and has shown it off in preseason.
Moore being cut so quickly was a bit of a surprise to me, as the 6'6", 263-pound veteran defensive end really played well on Friday against the Raiders. He also had three sacks last season for the Buffalo Bills, But, like Aromashodu, it was mainly a matter of quality depth at the position that resulted in Moore's release. Julius Peppers, Corey Wootton, and Shea McClellin are of course locks to make the team, rookie sixth-round pick Cornelius Washington was Pro Football Focus' highest-graded Bear vs the Raiders, and the team apparently holds 24-year-old Cheta Ozougwu in higher regard than Moore.
Pope's a veteran that has played games in all of the seven years he's been in the league, but the 6'8", 264-pound tight end doesn't seem to be more than a blocking tight end at this point in his career, and the Bears like Steve Maneri more as a blocking specialist. The No. 1 tight end is of course Martellus Bennett, while Kyle Adams and Fendi Onobun will likely be the No. 3 tight end.
At linebacker, Lance Briggs, Jon Bostic, James Anderson, D.J. Williams, Khaseem Greene, and Blake Costanzo will all likely make the team (it's a lock for at least four of those guys, anyway), so it was going to be hard for Trahan to make the team, even though he's been a valuable contributor on special teams. Don't be surprised if he finds his way back on to the Bears' roster again at some point in 2013.
Zbikowski is a 28-year-old safety that grew up in Illinois and played college football at Notre Dame. He started 12 games for the Colts in 2012, but was a pretty big disappointment in camp and the preseason games for the Bears. He looked lost in coverage at times. He has value on special teams, though, and is a decent kick returner, so his versatility should land him on another roster quickly.
The deadline to reach the 53-man roster is 5 PM CT on Saturday, two days after the Bears play the Cleveland Browns to conclude preseason their 2013 action.
Get the latest DBN updates by following us on Facebook & Twitter.