The Bears are cutting cornerback Buster Skrine, ESPN reported Monday.
Skrine, a 10-year veteran who turns 32 in April, was an essential part of the Bears’ defense in 2019 — 68% of the defensive snaps, five pass breakups, two forced fumbles — but missed the final four games and the playoffs because of a concussion last season. It was the sixth reported concussion of his career. He was the most obvious candidate on the Bears roster to be a cap casualty.
The Bears will save about $2.7 million in 2021 cap space and pay $3.3 million in dead cap money. If they designate him a post-June 1 cut, they can stretch the dead money over two years.
He played 52% of the snaps and had three pass breakups, one forced fumble and 68 tackles. Opposing quarterbacks had a 125.7 passer rating when throwing his way, according to Pro Football Reference.
The Bears don’t have a clear replacement for him on the current roster. Duke Shelley and Kindle Vildor did not deliver conclusive proof last season that they are ready for a full-time role.
Bears general manager Ryan Pace signed Skrine to a three-year, $16.5 million deal before the 2019 season.