The Bears officially parted ways with offensive tackle/guard Chris Williams — the 14th overall selection in the 2008 draft — on Tuesday.
The Bears announced that they terminated Williams’ contract, while re-signing cornerback Zack Bowman, who was released by the Minnesota Vikings before the season.
Williams started out with a lot of promise, but will go down as another first-round bust for former general manager Jerry Angelo. Williams started 38 of 50 games over five seasons with the Bears, but this year became a reserve and eventually a healthy scratch.
Williams appeared in three games with no starts for the Bears this season. Prior to this year, Williams started 20 games at left guard, 11 at right tackle and seven at left tackle.
Coach Lovie Smith was asked about Williams a day before he was released.
“Just like all of our players, you’ll have different roles during the course of the year,” Smith said. “Chris realizes that. He’s coming to work everyday just like the rest of our team is.”
Bowman played with the Bears from 2008-2011, starting 16 of 46 games over those four seasons. He had 117 tackles, seven interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries (including one for a touchdown).
Bowman should help the Bears out on special teams. He had 22 special teams tackles in his first stint with the Bears.
The Bears also announced that they terminated the practice-squad contract of defensive end Aston Whiteside.