DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 11: Punter Adam Podlesh #8 of the Chicago Bears punts the ball against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 11, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Bears 13-10 in overtime. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The Chicago Bears were one of the weaker teams in the NFL last season on special teams, but kick returner Devin Hester isn’t the only one likely to feel the wrath of a roster move as the Bears look to make themselves more competitive in an area that they used to excel in.
In that vein, the Bears announced on Wednesday that they had terminated the contract of punter Adam Podlesh:
LM: #Bears have terminated the contract of veteran punter Adam Podlesh.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) March 5, 2014
2013 was Podlesh’s third season with the Bears, and it saw him post some of his lowest numbers ever. His net average went down by a yard and a half on punts last season, and he only managed to get the ball within the 20 yard line 27 times, compared to 34 the season before. Podlesh did only allow 15 returns, but the returns were higher on average than they had been the previous season, and he struggled mightily at times with his directional punting.
The Bears do have two other punters on their roster at the moment, with both Tress Way and Drew Miller under their control. Kicking Podlesh to the curb will save the team approximately $1 million in salary cap space going into next season.