With camp week underway for the NFL, its time to start guessing as to what the Bear's final 53 man roster will look like come opening day. Welcome to the Fold and see what predictions we have in store for the team.
This roster prediction is understandably early, but its always fun to speculate on what we may have going forward. I've broken our roster into three groups: Made guys, Fringe guys, and Later guys. Made guys are my guaranteed roster spot players, Fringe guys are battling for roster spots, and Later guys we'll maybe see at our local car dealership come September. I've included the fringe guys I think will round out our roster for the regular season, and left out the Later Guys since there's almost too many to name.
Since free agency is a fluid endeavor and guys are going to be constantly be added and subtracted at this early stage of camp, I've included a few "Free Agent" spots where I think the team will shore up some depth at a few positions. I have 41 Made guys, leaving twelve roster spots up for grabs.
The Made Guys (41 total)
2 QB - Cutler, Hanie
2 RB - Forte, Barber
5 WR - Knox, Bennett, Williams, Hurd, Hester
2 TE - Spaeth, Davis
6 OL - C. Williams, Webb, Carimi, Garza, Spencer, Louis
9 DL - Peppers, Idonije, Wooton, Gholston*, Melton, Adams, Okoye, Paea, Toeaina
4 LB - Urlacher, Briggs, Iwuh, Roach
8 DB - Tillman, DJ Moore, Bowman, Graham, Jennings, Wright, Harris, Conte
3 ST - Gould, Podlesh, Mannelly
Fringe Guys battling for 12 spots
QB - Enderle may be a Martz pick, but I don't think he's guaranteed to make the roster yet. Still, he makes the team. 11 spots left.
RB - Taylor, Bell, and Unga I think the Bears may keep 2 more guys, but only if they lack other options at other positions. Unga is Barber-light, and Taylor was terrible last year. My guess: Bell stays, Taylor and Unga go. 10 spots left.
WR - We have good depth choices to choose from here, not to mention maybe picking someone off the scrap pile of free agent WRs. I say we keep Sanzenbacher, who's looked good so far in camp, and Fantuz fever survives. Cut: a bunch of UDFAs, notibly Kris Adams. 7 spots open.
OL - Omiyale isn't a sure thing yet, since we could replace him with a free agent. However, I think he comes back, we add a free agent lineman, and Edwin Williams sticks around. Notable cuts: Linnenkohl and Brignone. 4 spots left.
DL - Since Harrison has missed the first five days of camp battling weight issues, I say he's gone.
LB - I think J.T. Thomas sticks, especially since he's a rookie and we need youth at the position. Also, with us kicking tires on Tatupu, I think we add a free agent for depth purposes (possibly Pisa?). 2 spots left
CB - I think Josh Moore sticks around for another year; kid seems to have the faith of the coaching staff and I think they give him this year to see if he can stick. 1 spot left.
S - Last and certainly least, we come to Craig Steltz, the safety that just won't leave. I say the Bears hold onto him rather than break in a new starting safety (Wright), a rooke (Conte), and a free agent backup. Steltz gets the last spot (sigh)
Hopefully each week we'll see some new names and faces in camp pushing some of our more troubling Bears off the roster, improving on what has been an extensive free agency period and successful draft.