Aug 9, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; Chicago Bears return specialist Devin Hester (23) wide receiver Josh Lenz (11) and wide receiver Brittan Golden (82) take to the field before the game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears 53-Man Roster Prediction for 2013 NFL Season


Like every other team in the league the Chicago Bears have a number of difficult decisions to make regarding their roster.  They must have it down to 53 players before the deadline.  So based on preseason performances and team needs, how will the roster shape up before the 2013 NFL season begins?


1. Jay Cutler

2. Josh McCown

Cuts:  Jordan Palmer and Trent Edwards were signed on late in the preseason after third stringer Matt Blanchard broke his left hand.  Both had their moments in the finale but clearly Palmer had the better game and looked more comfortable in Marc Trestman’s offense.  He figure to be the first one the Bears call if Cutler or McCown get injured.

Running back

1. Matt Forte

2. Michael Bush

3. Armando Allen

4. Tony Fiammetta

Cuts:  The finale saves Allen’s job for the time being but it’s also because rookie Michael Ford, who had an excellent preseason both running and returning is the only one of the two eligible for the practice squad.  This way the Bears keep both.  Harvey Unga loses the fullback job to Fiammetta.

Tight End

1. Martellus Bennett

2. Steve Maneri

3. Kyle Adams

Cuts:  It’s really unfortunate because for the first time it seemed like 26-year old Fendi Onobun was catching on with the speed of the NFL game.  Unfortunately a series of bad dropped passes and holding penalties in the finale sealed his fate. Adams is more reliable, particularly on special teams.

Wide Receiver

1. Brandon Marshall

2. Alshon Jeffery

3. Earl Bennett

4. Joe Anderson

5. Eric Weems

6. Marquess Wilson

7. Devin Hester

Cuts:  Teams don’t normally carry more than six receivers but Chicago is in a unique situation.  Hester is still considered one of the best return men in football and the team will need his talents during the season.  As for Marquess Wilson, he is far too talented despite being a 7th round pick to risk waiving to try and get him on the practice squad.  Terrance Tolliver should get consideration for it though while Josh Lenz and Brittan Golden are out.


1. Jermon Bushrod

2. Jordan Mills

3. Eben Britton

4. Jonathan Scott

Cuts:  Everyone saw it coming but that doesn’t make it any less depressing.  After starting all 16 games for the Bears at left tackle last year, J’Marcus Webb is off the team.  Too much inconsistency and lacking nastiness were his downfall.  Cory Brandon looked like a practice squad shoe-in until an unfortunate knee injury knocked him out of the finale.


1. Kyle Long

2. Matt Slauson

3. James Brown

4. Taylor Boggs

Cuts:  Boggs had a solid preseason at center and figures to make the team so they can bulk him up for down the line once Roberto Garza is done.  Derrick Dennis had moments but not enough.  Otherwise the remaining cuts are no surprise with Edwin Williams never really panning out as a solid player.


1. Roberto Garza

Cuts:  With Slauson on the line and Boggs in reserve who can play guard and center, the Bears don’t have to carry another pure center.

Defensive End

1. Julius Peppers

2. Corey Wootton

3. Shea McClellin

4. Cheta Ozougwu

5. Cornelius Washington

Cuts:  The Bears traditionally like to carry a rotation of defensive ends into the season, so five sounds like the right number.  Ozougwu cemented his spot after just missing last year while Washington flashed a lot of promise as the 2013 sixth round pick.  Josh Williams and Aston Whiteside made some plays and could end up on the practice squad.

Defensive Tackle

1. Henry Melton

2. Stephen Paea

3. Nate Collins

4. Zach Minter

Cuts:  The top three are no surprise since Collins had a very productive preseason.  The real stunner is Zach Minter.  An undrafted free agent out of the Big Skye conference, he impressed defensive coordinator Mel Tucker enough with his burst and motor to warrant the final spot.  Corvey Irvin and Christian Tupou aren’t so fortunate.


1. Lance Briggs

2. Jon Bostic

3. James Anderson

4. D.J. Williams

5. Khaseem Greene

6. Blake Costanzo

7. J.T. Thomas

Cuts:  The top six aren’t really hard to argue with Greene being a fourth round pick who flashed his potential early in the preseason and Costanzo a special teams ace.  The late addition is Thomas, who made some big plays on special teams and then added a quarterback sack in the finale that should retain him a roster spot.  Jerry Franklin also played well and should land on the practice squad.


1. Charles Tillman

2. Tim Jennings

3. Isaiah Frey

4. Zack Bowman

5. Sherrick McManis

Cuts:  This was probably one of the tough decisions for GM Phil Emery. Chicago had some serious competitions going on at the back of their corner depth chart.  Undrafted free agents C.J. Wilson and Demantre Hurst both made plays that warranted a spot on the team.  Unfortunately McManis is too valuable on special teams and can play some corner when needed.  It wouldn’t surprise at all if Hurst and Wilson land on the practice squad much like Frey did the year before.


1. Major Wright

2. Chris Conte

3. Craig Steltz

4. Anthony Walters

Cuts:  Brandon Hardin has loads of physical promise, which is why he Bears selected him in the third round of the 2012 NFL draft.  Unfortunately injuries have hampered his progress switching from corner to safety.  Tom Nelson clearly outplayed him on special teams in the finale, which is why though he gets cut as well he should get the first phone call if the Chicago Bears brass need help at the position.  On the bright side, Hardin could still land on the practice squad.

Special Teams

1. Robbie Gould

2. Adam Podlesh

3. Patrick Mannelly

Cuts:  An interesting side note to the specialists is how well rookie snapper Brandon Hartson performed when Mannelly went down with a rib injury.  If the Chicago Bears get another chance to sign him later on they are sure to do so.

This puts the roster at 53.  They still may open one spot  for the team to seek out a player on the free agent market released by other teams.  A quick glance over says they may seek out extra depth at tight end or safety.

Tags: Brandon Marshall Chicago Bears Devin Hester Kyle Long NFL

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