Every season, there are plenty of players cut so teams can trim their roster down to 53. And every year, there are surprise cuts or players let go that are good enough to make a 53 man roster. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is a good way to think of it; with the “treasure” being a player that might play a couple minutes a game. In the Bears case, they will be looking for younger guys that are very good athletes, which is the kind of player they’ve added throughout the offseason. There will be hundreds of players being cut and signed, so here are a few that the Bears should capitalize on.
Preston Williams, WR
Preston Williams is 6 foot 5 inches, 220 pounds and 25 years old. He is exactly the kind of athlete Ryan Poles has acquired so far this offseason. He has 787 yards on 56 receptions over the past three seasons. The Dolphins had been looking for a trade partner for a while but couldn’t find anyone. Now the Colorado State product is looking for a new team. With lots of teams looking to add him, the Bears will need to convince him to join them. If he was waived, the Bears are sitting at 7th in line, which should be high enough to have a chance.
Denzel Mims, WR
Denzel Mims has not officially been released but he has officially asked to be released or traded. He is another great athlete, standing 6’3” and weighing 207 pounds. He is only 24 and 490 yards over his past two seasons. He showed out in the last preseason game, catching 7 passes for 102 yards and hauling in a touchdown. While he hasn’t been released yet, he very well could be a free agent by the end of the week. The Bears could also try trading a late round pick for him, however Poles probably wants all the draft capital he can have. He would be a good option for Justin Fields and could be a cheap option before the season starts.
Laquon Treadwell, WR
Another young, athletic receiver the Bears could target. He is 6’2”, 215 lbs and 27 years old. He has over 1100 yards in his six year career and his best year comes in 2021. He caught 33 balls for 434 yards. He was seen as a five or six string receiver on the Jaguars before they cut him earlier on Tuesday. He could be a cheap body to fill the roster or practice squad. He has experience in different offenses and could come in and prove his worth as a veteran presence in a young receiver room.
Jarrad Davis, LB
Davis was a surprise cut by the Lions. He is 27 and has an impressive resume over the past five seasons. He has 330 total tackles, 10.5 sacks and an interception. He could come in and work his way to a rotating role. With Roquan Smith’s contract being up in the air, Davis could be an excellent addition to the squad and earn a extended role in Eberflus’s defense. He might be a more expensive option than the front office would like but he is a great defender and could make a good pass rush great.
Leon O’Neal Jr, DB
O’Neal is another UDFA that signed with the 49er’s this offseason. He was waived earlier in August with an injury designation but recently tweeted that he is “Healthy Again”. He was very impressive over his four seasons at Texas A&M. He played over 40 games, gathering over 160 tackles with 10 for loss, 6 interceptions, and 12 pass breakups. He is a very athletic player who can play safety or in the box and is a great tackler. He could be a versatile player on the defense, moving from position to position, almost like Micah Parsons. He is a very interesting player and one of my personal favorites on this list.
Ty McGill, DT
Ty McGill is a gap filler, standing 6 feet and weighing 300 pounds. Over his eight year career, he has 5.5 sacks, eight TFLs, and 21 QB hits. He is on the older side(for football) at 29 years old but he has an impressive resume and, more importantly, he played for Eberflus on the Colts. He had his best seasons on the Colts, getting five sacks and 6 TFL’s in the two years with Indianopolis. He is a name to watch as the Bears have cut multiple defensive lineman.
Tyler Johnson, WR
Johnson is another receiver who was believed to make Buccaneers final roster as a 5/6 option. He is another younger guy at 24 and has been decent in his first two seasons, collecting over 500 yards on 48 receptions. He is another WR that fits the Ryan Poles criteria; young, athletic, and cheap. He fits the boxes and could be an under the radar guy the Bears could sign to fill out the receiver room.
Justin Coleman, DB
Coleman is a 29 year old corner who has been around a few different teams, most recently the Seattle Seahawks. With Tavon Young being added to the IR, meaning he will miss at least the first four games, Coleman could be a good addition to the slot corner position. He has six interceptions and over 40 pass breakups over his career. He could help out the younger guys and fill a hole early in the season. If it’s a cheap deal, he could be moved or released mid season, or find himself with a roster spot through the entire season.
Alex Lindstrom, OL
Lindstrom is a center who played college ball at Boston College and signed as an UDFA with the Cowboys. He played 39 games at Boston College and allowed 24 pressures, four QB hits, and three sacks. He is 24 years old but could be a great addition to the offensive line. With Lucas Patrick currently injured and Michael Schofield being cut, he could find a backup role or plug and play with the Bears. He is a young player that had a good college career and could come in and shore up the inexperienced O-line. Not very important but still interesting; Ryan Poles was an undrafted offensive lineman out of Boston College.
Chazz Surratt, LB
Surratt is 25 years old and was drafted in the third round in the 2021 draft. He played in 11 games in his redshirt senior season for North Carolina gathering over 90 tackles, 7.5 TFL’s, six sacks, one interception, and one forced fumble plus recovery. He is an athletic player that could find a roster spot to fill the need of LB. He again fills the Ryan Poles criteria of young and athletic and could see playing time as a backup.
Mario Goodrich, CB
Goodrich was an UDFA signed by the Eagles this offseason. He is 6 foot, 175 lbs, and ran a 4.50 40 yard dash. He played 47 games over four years but started only 16. However, he had 15 pass breakups and five interceptions in those games. His senior season earned him the award of first team All-ACC and the MVP of the Cheez-It Bowl. He is a versatile player with a great college resume that could shore up the Bears defensive backfield. He would be cheap and could potentially earn a long term spot on the roster.
Alex Leatherwood, OL
Leatherwood was a first round pick in the 2021 draft by the Raiders. He started all 17 games this past season but was unimpressive. He allowed eight sacks and had 14 penalties called against him. While he was unreliable in his first season, he is still only 23 years old. There is a chance the Bears could still develop him and get a great offensive lineman for cheap.
Kingsley Keke, DL
Keke is only 25 years old and already has 6.5 sacks and 13 QB hits through three seasons. He played for the Packers those three years and was a decent bench/plug and play player. He could help fortify the defensive line and add to the terrifying pass rush of Gipson, Quinn, and Muhammod. He isn’t high on the list of needs but he could be a sneaky good addition for the Bears.
Tony Jefferson, DB
Jefferson could be a great veteran presence in the Bears secondary room. He has a great resume over his eight seasons, gathering 4 interceptions, 23 pass breakups, and 9.5 sacks, which is pretty impressive for a DB. He is also lower on the list of needs but he would be a great mentor to Jaquan Brisker and Kyler Gordon. He could even slide down to CB and fill in the slot corner position.
McTelvin Agim, DT
Agim is a 24 year old D-lineman who was drafted in the third round in 2020 out of Arkansas. He doesn’t have much play time, only 17 games over two seasons and no starts. However, in his senior season at Arkansas, he had 8.5 TFL’s and 5 sacks in 12 games. He is a younger guy that could look to break out in a starting position. The Bears are weaker at DT now after cutting Mario Edwards Jr. He is a name to keep an eye on for a practice squad spot.
Kellen Diesch, OL
Diesch was signed as an UDFA this offseason by the Dolphins after two seasons at Arizona State. He started in all 15 games played and was the highest graded tackle in the PAC-12 according to PFF. He is an interesting player and was mocked to the Bears in the later rounds by many experts. He could be a backup or practice squad body that looks to earn a roster spot early in the season.
Not all of these players will be signed, much less by the Bears. However, they are all good athletes that deserve a chance on a team and it would be nice to see the Bears give them that chance. Most players are focused towards the Bears needs, so there are better players that were left off the list because the Bears are already strong in those positions.