LAKE FOREST, IL - MAY 10: Kyle Long #75 of the Chicago Bears and Jordan Mills after going through drills during rookie camp on May 10, 2013 at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
In a move that can conservatively be called "surprising" and liberally a "shocker," the Chicago Bears terminated the contract of tackle Jonathan Scott on Tuesday night and announced they had re-signed tight end Kyle Adams after waiving him on Monday afternoon.
The latter move was especially interesting because the team had just dumped Adams from the roster after acquiring TE Dante Rosario from the Dallas Cowboys on Monday. Rosario will still be the back-up to Martellus Bennett when the regular season kicks off on Sunday, and Adams will likely be relegated to special teams duty.
As for the former transaction, there are several schools of thought as to why the Bears would jettison a tackle on the eve of the regular season. There is some speculation Scott isn't recovering well from the knee injury that cost him many of his training camp reps, but he did practice with the team on Monday, so his departure came as a bit of a shock when it was announced.
The other possibility is the Bears were trying to trim a little bit of salary from their roster before the NFL salary cap fully kicks in on Wednesday afternoon. Right now, the cap only counts the top 51 salaries on each NFL roster, but after Wednesday's deadline, it will count all 53, and Scott's $100,000 in guaranteed money could have been an expense that the Bears simply did not want to carry.
At any rate, the success or failure of the move will ultimately hinge upon the performances/health of several players, most important among them being Jordan Mills. The rookie will be starting at right tackle, the position that Scott had taken over last year when Lovie Smith and his coaching staff decided to demote Gabe Carimi from the position. He has looked good during training camp and in preseason action at the position, but with another rookie beside him on the line in guard Kyle Long, then the pressure will be even more intense on Mills now that the security blanket has been wrest away from him.
The other player who will need to stay healthy is Jermon Bushrod, who missed most of the preseason with an injury sustained in training camp. He is expected to start at left tackle in Week 1, and with the Bears keeping only eight linemen, his durability is a real concern for fans.
We'll keep you posted on what Marc Trestman and company have to say about the move at the team's practice Wednesday.