The Chicago Bears set their 53-man roster on Saturday afternoon. Though, the fact that the Bears set their 53-man roster on Saturday was only a formality as the team obliged with the NFL mandate.
If the Bears had their choice, the team likely would not set their roster until the Saturday before the team’s first game of the regular season.
The Bears open up the season against the Buffalo Bills next Sunday and it is likely that the Bears could make one or two adjustments to their 53-man roster before then.
As of now, it would appear that the Bears have the potential to have two open spots on their 53-man roster. Those two spots are rookie quarterback David Fales and wide receiver Marquess Wilson. Wilson suffered a fractured clavicle during training camp and the wide receiver would be eligible to go on the IR-designated return list on Tuesday. Moving Wilson to the IR-return list would open up a roster spot for the Bears.
As for Fales, the rookie quarterback is not going to play in any regular season games this year. The Bears could afford to take the risk by trying to place the quarterback on the team’s practice squad. If the Bears choose to take that risk, that would open up another roster spot for the team.
There were several players released by the NFL teams on Saturday that could be of interest to the Bears.
- Danieal Manning–When the Bears lost Manning in 2010, it was significant because Manning had value as both a kick returner and defensive player. Four years later, Manning has lost a step but still could be an upgrade for the Bears in terms of their overall safety depth. Manning recorded 24 tackles with the Houston Texans last season while only playing 6 games. Manning was released by the Cincinnati Bengals after signing with the team this off-season.
- C.J. Spillman–Spillman, like Manning did in 2010, could have value to the Bears in two areas. Spillman is a versatile defender that has played every position in the secondary but also is considered to be a special teams ace. The Bears are looking to improve their safety position as well as their special teams unit and Spillman would fulfill both needs.
- Duke Ihenacho–Ihenacho was the starting strong safety for the AFC champion, Denver Broncos. While the Bears are in need of help at the free safety spot, Ihenacho likely will appeal to the Bears. Ihenacho recorded 73 tackles for the Broncos last season while forcing 3 fumbles. Ihenacho is strong against the run and that may appeal to the Bears considering their struggles against the run last season.
Breaking the all-safety trend, there have been some on twitter trying to connect the dots between Michael Sam and the Chicago Bears. The Bears were interested in Sam as an undrafted free agent, but considering how well the team’s defensive line performed in the pre-season, Sam no longer is a fit for the Bears that he once was.
The Bears need help at the safety position and special teams. If the Bears do add to their roster, expect those to be the areas that the team will address.