NFL rosters are set across the league, although they’re sure to undergo plenty of changes over the next 48 hours. Now, the waiting game begins as hundreds of players await their NFL future.
The Chicago Bears have set their initial 53-man roster, which included parting ways with 27 players ahead of Tuesday’s deadline.
While some cuts were expected and others came as a surprise, all of them were hard in some sort of way. Here are my toughest roster cuts following the Bears’ initial 53-man roster.
CB Thomas Graham Jr.
AP Photo/Stacy Bengs
It was certainly a shock to find Graham among the roster cuts after showcasing potential in his limited action as a rookie. Unfortunately for Graham, he was sidelined throughout the summer with a hamstring injury, which is likely why Lamar Jackson and Jaylon Jones got the nod over him. Still, Graham should be a prime candidate for the practice squad.
OL Michael Schofield
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
When the Bears signed Schofield, many expected he’d serve in a starting capacity at right guard. But that’s not how things ultimately panned out. Schofield lost the right guard job to Teven Jenkins. But it was still a surprise that Chicago didn’t keep Schofield as depth. Perhaps they feel confident in Sam Mustipher and rookies Ja’Tyre Carter and Zachary Thomas.
DL Mario Edwards Jr.
AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn
The Edwards was certainly notable considering his versatility along the defensive line and his $3.9 million dead-cap hit for 2022. But Ryan Poles continues to show that dead money isn’t a concern this season after releasing Edwards. Although considering Edwards didn’t do anything this preseason, it’s not too much of a surprise to see Chicago cut the cord.
DT Trevon Coley
AP Photo/Stephen Brashear
This one was certainly more shocking than Edwards’ release given Coley did everything he could’ve in order to earn a roster spot. Coley had three sacks in the preseason and showcased his ability to pressure the quarterback. But it still wasn’t enough, as Chicago opted to go with Pennel over Coley. Coley should be a prime practice squad candidate, if he clears waivers.
RB Darrynton Evans
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It’s not entirely a shock that Evans didn’t make the initial roster after he lost his spot to rookie Trestan Ebner. And it always came down to whether the Bears were going to carry three or four running backs. Chicago opted to carry three backs, two fullbacks and two tight ends, which spelled the end of Evans’ time with the Bears. After an impressive preseason, Evans could be a practice squad candidate.
DE Sam Kamara
AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski
Kamara had a strong preseason performance, which bolstered his stock. It certainly looked like Kamara was going to earn a roster spot there for a moment following the releases of Mario Edwards and Trevon Coley. Especially given he can play off the edge or along the interior of the defensive line. But the Bears opted to go with eight defensive linemen, including veteran Mike Pennel, who was the only question mark heading into cutdowns.
WR Isaiah Coulter
AP Photo/Duane Burleson
Coulter was one of the preseason standouts at wide receiver, and he was someone many expected to have a chance to make the roster given his contributions on offense and special teams. Unfortunately, the Bears opted to go with Dante Pettis and Tajae Sharpe, both wideouts who got the seal of approval from quarterback Justin Fields.
CB Greg Stroman Jr.
AP Photo/David Richard
Stroman only played in one preseason game, but it was a strong enough performance that many thought earned him a roster spot at cornerback. He’s a veteran with plenty of experience in the league, and he logged an interception and additional pass breakup in his lone preseason action. But Stroman missed the cut in favor of other bubble players like Lamar Jackson and Jaylon Jones. Perhaps Stroman could be a practice squad candidate.
DE Charles Snowden
Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports
Following the released of Edwards, Coley and Kamara, it certainly appeared that Snowden was getting his chance at a roster spot off the edge. But Snowden missed the cut as Chicago opted to carry eight defensive linemen, including four edge rushers. Unfortunately for Snowden, he faced an uphill battle to earn a spot from the likes of Robert Quinn, Trevis Gipson, Al-Quadin Muhammad and Dominique Robinson.
TE James O'Shaughnessy
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
While Cole Kmet and Ryan Griffin felt like locks for the roster, O’Shaughnessy felt like a safe bet to make it. But the Bears opted to carry just two tight ends and two fullbacks (including tight end hybrid Jake Tonges). O’Shaughnessy’s contract was terminated with the designation of a non-football illness. You wonder, had he been healthy, if he would’ve been on the initial roster.