Making the cut(s): Bears easily can retool roster with new players for new coach

SHARE Making the cut(s): Bears easily can retool roster with new players for new coach
bears_packers_football_71594869.jpg

The Bears benched Mike Glennon. (AP)

In coach John Fox’s words, the Bears have done “plenty of erasing” since he and general manager Ryan Pace arrived in 2015.

RELATED STORIES

NFL picks, Week 17: Will resting Todd Gurley, Jared Goff pay off for Rams?

At 2,834 snaps and counting, Bears LT Charles Leno a dependable pro

And it will continue this offseason, starting with Pace’s decision on Fox, but he also is facing decisions on many of his own free-agent signings.

Pace has missed on a number of free agents, but Bears chief negotiator Joey Laine structured many of their deals to protect the team in the long term. The Bears aren’t bound to them.

So Pace can fill out many parts of his 2018 roster with a new coach at his side, should he dismiss Fox.

CB Marcus Cooper

2018 salary-cap hit: $5.5 million.

Dead money (if cut): $1 million.

Cooper’s three-year contract always was a one-year deal. He started the first four games, but Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara proved to be better options this season and possibly for the future.

S Quintin Demps

2018 cap hit: $3.9 million.

Dead money: $666,667.

Third-year safety Adrian Amos made some believers out of doubters at Halas Hall after Demps broke his arm and was put on injured reserve. Like Cooper’s deal, Demps’ three-year contract always was a one-year deal.

LB Jerrell Freeman

2018 cap hit: $4 million.

Dead money: $500,000.

Freeman’s career is at a crossroads after being suspended twice in two years. He said his 10-game ban this season was the result of pills he was taking for a head injury. Unlike others on IR, Freeman no longer has a locker at Halas Hall.

QB Mike Glennon

2018 cap hit: $16 million.

Dead money: $4.5 million.

Glennon has been a good and professional teammate since being benched for rookie Mitch Trubisky. But Mark Sanchez is the primary backup candidate. Quarterbacks always find jobs; it will just be somewhere else for Glennon.

OL Eric Kush

2018 cap hit: $1.4 million.

Dead money: 0.

Depth is important, and Kush can handle guard or center, but he’s coming off a torn hamstring. Still, he’s an affordable option, if healthy.

RT Bobby Massie

2018 cap hit: $6.1 million.

Dead money: $500,000.

The Bears likely will explore upgrades again in 2018. But the tackles available and their markets might make the draft the best option. The Bears, though, do think Massie played better this season.

OLB Pernell McPhee

2018 cap hit: $8.075 million.

Dead money: $1 million.

McPhee once was viewed as one of the best signings in 2015, but his balky knees and shoulder issues hurt his availability. Intangibles matter only so much. Cap hits over $8 million require productivity.

G Josh Sitton

2018 cap hit: $8 million.

Dead money: $666,668.

The Bears have a team option to consider for Sitton in 2018. He has dealt with various ailments after missing only two starts in seven seasons with the Packers. He’s still a capable player, but his play has dipped.

LB Danny Trevathan

2018 cap hit: $7.15 million.

Dead money: $2.5 million.

Even though Trevathan is a “Fox guy,” he and Nick Kwiatkoski should enter the offseason as the penciled-in starters. Trevathan has struggled to stay healthy, but the defense is clearly better with him.

TE Dion Sims

2018 cap hit: $6.3 million.

Dead money: $666,667.

Adam Shaheen is the future at the position, but Sims is still the Bears’ best blocking tight end. The draft won’t change that, either.

WR Markus Wheaton

2018 cap hit: $5.75 million.

Dead money: $750,000.

Receiver is an offseason priority, but cutting ties with Wheaton seems likely. His three catches equal the number of injuries — an appendectomy, a broken pinkie and a torn groin — he has dealt with in 2017.

OLB Willie Young

2018 cap hit: $5.4 million.

Dead money: $900,000.

The Bears need pass rushers, but Young (torn triceps) will turn 33 in September. He also no longer has a locker at Halas Hall. That’s not a good sign. The Bears have remained a top-10 defense without him.

Follow me on Twitter @adamjahns.

Email: ajahns@suntimes.com

The Latest
Cease’s performance this season has been stellar, and the metrics support why that is.
“You’re really making clean energy the standard for buildings and for residents throughout our city,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said at a news conference at the Chicago Urban League.
It becomes the third coffee chain in the Chicago area to be part of a labor organizing push.
“I think a haircut really can just reflect who you are as a person, so taking care of your hair is important because that’s a part of you and people look at it a lot,” said Jonathan Evans, 18.
Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara and Illinois Fraternal Order of Police President Chris Southwood stood with Bailey, who denounced Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx as “the three musketeers of crime.”