CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 11: Roy Williams #11 of the Chicago Bears waits for instant replay decision against the Atlanta Falcons at Soldier Field on September 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Falcons 30-12. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Roy Williams
Free agency starts on March 13, and the Bears need to decide soon on which of their own free agents to go after, and which ones to bring to let free. New general manager Phil Emery said the Bears will work on free agency before April's college draft, so decisions will be made soon. We like to be helpful at Grizzly Detail, so two-by-two, we'll start giving suggestions over the next few weeks. Feel free to add yours in the comments.
First up, the easy cuts.
Roy Williams: When the Bears signed him before the 2011 season, Chicago hoped to see Williams return to the man who caught for 1,310 yards in Detroit. After all, Williams played for Mike Martz in Detroit. He flourished in the Martz system, so why wouldn't he do the same in Chicago?
Of course, he didn't. He never quite connected with Jay Cutler. He made too many drops. He finished the season with just 37 catches for 507 yards, never really turning into the No. 1 wide receiver Chicago needed him to be. Eight seasons into his pro career, Williams is not destined to magically transform into a reliable option. The Bears should move on and let Williams test out the open market. Maybe he can fool another team into thinking he's a great receiver.
Brandon Merriweather: An unfortunate trademark of the Bears defense in the past decade has been a huge question mark at safety. The Bears have not been stable at safety, and the question mark manifested this season as the Bears signed Merriweather to give the team depth. He was cut by the Patriots, which should have been the first red flag.
Merriweather was not the safety who cleared things up for the Bears in the secondary. Even after they cut Chris Harris, he still didn't do much. Instead, Chris Conte emerged as the Bears new interception threat. Merriweather finished the season with exactly zero picks. He shouldn't be in a Bears uniform come August.