Every year a team execute a surprise cut or waive of a player fans might not expect. Who are some possibilities for the Chicago Bears?
Roberto Garza – C
Most fans would not expect to see the name of a team captain on this list but the situation is unusually fluid for Roberto Garza. He played well last season and was a steadying force on an offensive line that featured four new starters. That being said, he’s 35-years old, which is hard to ignore for that position. On top of that the Bears signed Brian De La Puente in free agency, who started for the New Orleans Saints last season and is 28-years old. If Garza begins to look ineffective, the team may feel compelled to make the switch.
Eric Weems – WR
He took a pay cut to stay with the team but Eric Weems is by no means guaranteed a roster spot. As it stands he is likely the fifth wide receiver on the depth chart behind Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Marquess Wilson and Josh Morgan. That is tenuous territory, which means he must continue to show his value on special teams in order to keep it. Five other players are behind him at the moment, some of them like Chris Williams with returning ability. If any of them show quality as a gunner and receiver as well, Weems could be in trouble.
D.J. Williams – MLB
A year ago there was little doubt that D.J. Williams would be the Chicago Bears starter at middle linebacker. After missing ten games with a torn pectoral, the doubt has increased significantly. Part of it is the injury risk, but another is the rising threat of second-year man Jon Bostic. Reports out of camp are that Bostic has shown a lot of progress at the position compared to last year, enough to the point that he is close to equal footing with Williams for the starting job.
Losing it would be bad enough for him, but the wild card is undrafted free agent Christian Jones. Chicago signed him back in May, a player scouts believed was good enough to go in the 4th round of the draft given his superb athletic potential. One thing expected of backup linebackers is that they must play special teams. It’s hard seeing Williams do that over a younger player like Jones. So if Bostic does win out, the Bears may feel compelled to let the veteran find work elsewhere.
Kelvin Hayden – CB
An unfortunate hamstring injury sidelined Kelvin Hayden before he ever got a chance to play last season. Still, the Bears brought him back for his experience and how well he played for them in 2012. Beyond that is nothing but fog. Hayden has always had trouble staying healthy in spite of his ability. With the addition of rookie Kyle Fuller, the presence of third-year man Isaiah Frey and return of special teams ace Sherrick McManis, Hayden is already facing a crowded depth chart. Throw in intriguing youngsters like Demontre Hurst and Al Louis-Jean and it becomes a dogfight just stay on the roster. Hayden has the edge in knowledge, but that may not be enough for the Chicago Bears brass to justify keeping him.