The cuts have already begun ahead of the August 30th deadline. Who are some notable names the Chicago Bears may want to look at?
Yawin Smallwood – LB – Cut from: Atlanta Falcons
Linebacker remains an unfinished product for the Bears so they can’t afford to stop looking for help. One interesting name that popped loose from Atlanta is Yawin Smallwood. The Falcons 7th round pick failed to crack the roster but was viewed by scouts as an athletic and capable in coverage. The key fact with him is he was a team captain at Connecticut for now Bears defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis – RB – Cut from: Cincinnati Bengals
Matt Forte remains the man but the team still hasn’t found any definitive answers at running back for short yardage and goal line situations. That sort of game was the bread and butter of BenJarvus Green-Ellis both in New England and with the Cincinnati Bengals. Unfortunately a crowded backfield saw him, at age 29 get dismissed. However, at a cheap price he could offer some missing power element to the Bears backfield.
Garrett Gilbert – QB – Cut from: St. Louis Rams
The thing to remember about coaches who run a West Coast offense is they prefer specific kinds of quarterbacks, preferably ones with timing, touch and accuracy. Those are all traits Garrett Gilbert had coming out of SMU when the St. Louis Rams took him in the 6th round. His lack of polish though likely got him cut. He is not ready for game action. Still, at 6’4″ with good accuracy and footwork he represents a great long-term project on the practice squad.
Isaac Sopoaga – DT – Cut from: Arizona Cardinals
Chicago has the top four slots of their defensive tackle depth chart set with Jeremiah Ratliff, Stephen Paea and rookies Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton. The question is will they carry somebody in a fifth slot? If they do it may be a good idea for them to add another big body who can help them stop the run. The veteran did that for years in San Francisco but has struggled to latch onto a team of late, having just exited his fourth since the end of 2012. Still, that 330 lbs body may have something left worth keeping in reserve for Adrian Peterson or Eddie Lacy.
Craig Loston – S – Cut from: Jacksonville Jaguars
LSU has long been a factory for good defensive backs during the NFL draft and safety Craig Loston was expected to uphold that tradition. Surprisingly he wasn’t drafted and signed on with Jacksonville but faced a steep depth chart from the beginning. Now he is back on the street and the Chicago Bears are still seeking answers at safety. Loston boasts size, plays physical and shows good read and reaction on tape. His best trait though may be his leadership. He is adept at getting teammates lined up correctly. On top of that, he was an able special teams player.
*Mikel Leshoure – RB – Cut from: Detroit Lions
It really is a tragic case for Mikel Leshoure. Once viewed as the future feature back for the Detroit Lions, a switch in scheme philosophy rendered him less useful in the eyes of coaches, but instead of cutting or trading him, the Lions chose to keep him around as merely emergency insurance. Now the 24-year old, who was an All-American at Illinois is finally out and free to pursue a new opportunity. His advantage over somebody like Green-Ellis is age and health. Leshoure is clean on both, and he would be a major help in short yardage.
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