The Chicago Bears were busy on Saturday as the team made their final decisions for their 53-man roster, and while most haven’t been all that surprising, there have been a few attention-grabbing moves at Halas Hall.
In perhaps the biggest surprise of the day, wide receiver Marc Mariani had his contract terminated by the Bears, according to a release from the team. While Bears receivers were going through injury issues last season, Mariani stepped up as a prime target for Jay Cutler, but despite that ability and his status as a potential kick returner, the Bears have still decided to move on.
Two more potential pieces for the Bears’ offense were also let go, as running back Jacquizz Rodgers and tight end Rob Housler were both shown the door by Ryan Pace and his staff. Rodgers was a potential fourth running back on the Bears’ roster, and despite his special teams abilities, the team parted ways with the veteran.
As for Housler, his departure leaves some interesting questions. The team also let go of undrafted rookie Ben Braunecker and veteran Tony Moeaki at the position, meaning that they will go into the season with only three tight ends on the roster.
The Bears also waived quarterback David Fales, meaning that Brian Hoyer has officially won the competition to be the team’s back-up quarterback. Fales is eligible to be placed on the practice squad, and unless he is claimed by another team on waivers it is highly likely that he will end up on the 10-man squad when Sunday afternoon rolls around.
On the defensive side of the football, there haven’t been many surprising decisions yet. Linebacker John Timu was waived by the Bears, according to Biggs, as was linebacker Danny Mason. Defensive backs De’Vante Bausy and Kevin Peterseon were also let go, and defensive lineman Terry Williams also was placed on the chopping block.
Pernell McPhee, one of the biggest acquisitions new Bears GM Ryan Pace made in 2015, will begin the season on the PUP list, meaning that he will miss at least the first six games of the regular season while recovering from offseason knee surgery.
Here is the full list of cuts thus far at Halas Hall. The Bears had to be at 53 players on their roster by Saturday afternoon.
QB: David Fales
RB: Jacquizz Rodgers
WR: Daniel Braverman, B.J. Daniels, Marc Mariani, Marquess Wilson (PUP)
TE: Ben Braunecker, Rob Housler, Tony Moeaki
OL: Khaled Holmes, Shelley Smith, Jason Weaver, Garry Williams
DL: Terry Williams, Ego Ferguson
LB: Danny Mason, John Timu, Pernell McPhee (PUP)
DB: De’Vante Bausy, Kevin Peterson, Taveze Calhoun
LS: Patrick Scales