It turns out that final game didn't mean much in grand scheme of roster decisions for the Bears. Several players who starred on Thursday night still ended up without a job on Friday as Chicago cut down to the 53-man roster for the regular season.
Josh McCown, the quarterback who stepped in last season when back-up Caleb Hanie struggled, is among those on the cut list released by the Bears on Friday. Not only did he play well enough to end the Bears' losing skid in the last game of the 2011 season, but he also was strong in four quarters of football on Thursday night. Still, the Bears decided to go with Jay Cutler and Jason Campbell, a former starting quarterback, as the signal caller.
With a changed offense under Mike Tice, the role of fullback is not as important. Instead of waiving Tyler Clutts, the Bears traded Clutts to Houston for former Northwestern cornerback Sherrick McManis, who has played both on defense and special teams.
Armando Allen was in a tight battle with Lorenzo Booker for the third running back spot, and despite a memorable final game, was cut. Brittan Golden and Greg McCoy also starred on Thursday but were released. Other released players include Joe Anderson, Cory Brandon, Cornelius Brown, James Brown, Terriun Crump (who was signed this week), Isaiah Frey, A.J. Green, Ricky Henry, Mark LeGree, Jordan Miller, Brandon Venson, Aston Whiteside, Jabara Williams, Xavier Adibi, Chauncey Davis and Jonathan Wilhite. Rashied Davis was released earlier this week.
Bubble players who made the team include punter Ryan Quigley, receiver Dane Sanzenbacher and tight end Kyle Adams.
After seeing these cuts, I'm sure I'm not the first one to think it's not fair, but this is business in the NFL. For the Bears to win a Super Bowl, they cannot be concerned with what players did for them in the past. They have to be focused on what those players can do for them in the future. It sounds cold, but so is the Lombardi Trophy.