No Love for Bubble Players

The Bears cut down to the 53-man roster. What do the cuts mean?

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Al Afalava was an important part of the team last season, but was cut this season.

    Lovie Smith dumped a number of players this weekend in order to pare his roster to 53 men. In the process the organization parted ways with three of Jerry Angelo's high-ranking draft picks from the previous few years. Find out who he cut and why: 

    Lovie wanted consistency: Players who waited until the final pre-season game to make their presence known -- we're looking at you Juaquin Iglesias and Jarron Gilbert -- did not make the team.

    Last year does not matter
    . Al Afalava was an important contributor to the Bears' defensive backfield last season, but with the play of Major Wright and Chris Harris, he was deemed expendable. Tim Shaw was a huge contributor on special teams last year, but that wasn't enough for him to make the team.

    The Bears need versatility for their ground attack. Holding onto four running backs -- Matt Forte, Chester Taylor, Kahlil Bell and Garrett Wolfe -- shows that the Bears still value the running game, despite offensive coordinator's Mike Martz's emphasis on the passing game. The Bears are also hoping that Bell and Wolfe will show their worth on special teams.

    Sometimes, the numbers are against you. With Brian Urlacher and much of the linebacking corps dealing with small injuries, Kevin Malast had a chance to shine. He took full advantage, notching 17 tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery over four pre-season games. Unfortunately for Malast, Jerry Angelo loaded up the team on linebackers, and Malast was cut.

    The Bears are doing a terrible job with the draft: The Bears top draftees from 2009 are now unemployed. Juaquin Iglesias and Jarron Gilbert never blossomed into the players that the Bears hoped they would be. Their quick dismissal doesn't inspire much confidence in Angelo's ability to draft players.