FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 06: Devin Thomas #15 of the New York Giants runs the openning kickoff against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium on November 6, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
It's still far too early to be looking at what the final roster could possibly look like, there will be a lot of changes between now and then, but here, in early May, at the beginning of the offseason practice sessions, the Bears have some rather crowded positions. Even before the draft the last weekend; the Bears had thrown a lot of bodies at the cornerback and wide receiver positions. That's not a bad thing, but then when they drafted more at those positions, suddenly those filled positions became crowded; so how will they shake out when all is said and done?
My point is they won't carry that many, but these two position groups make up a larger part of special teams. Furthermore, since there is no practice squad in the offseason, a couple of the guys are bound to land on there.
Now it's too early for me to even get into the specifics of each guy, that stuff will come once camp starts up and we have a better idea of what the coaching staff sees in each of these guys.
I am purely going to look at the numbers of each position and speculate how many will be carried on the final roster.
Now obviously the latter two are now departed, so the Bears will have to replace them. Bowman and Graham primarily played special teams. More on that in a minute.
The current WR group looks like this: Earl Bennett, Terriun Crump, Brittan Golden, Devin Hester, Alshon Jeffery, Johnny Knox, Brandon Marshall, Dane Sanzenbacher, Chris Summers, Devin Thomas and Eric Weems.
The Bears carried six on the roster last season; Hester, Bennett, REW, Sanzenbacher, Hurd and Knox.
Traditionally the Bears have carried between five and six at each position. I can't really see that changing, unless they are blown away with someone at either position. Could they perhaps carry seven of one and five of the other?
So does the crowded CB group make newly signed vets Hayden and Wilhite less likely to stick? Probably, both are going to carry a higher salary than the 6th and 7th round draft picks, Donovan Warren seems like practice squad fodder than anything else. hat would leave five.
Receiver is harder to say; the Bears might not part ways with Weems right away, as they genuinely seemed to like him, but Thomas might have to work for his roster spot. It seems unlikely that we will see Sanzenbacher make the final roster either. Summers, Crump and Golden seem like practice squad-if-they're-lucky type guys whereas Sanzenbacher does not have practice squad eligibility left because he appeared in 16 games for the Bears last year. So that's seven if they want to keep every veteran free agent they added in the offseason, six if they want to dump either Weems or Thomas.
But then Knox. Knox has to be destined, or so the team thinks, for the PUP list or IR because it seems unlikely that the Bears would rush out to sign Weems and Thomas in free agency only to come back and dump them. One, or both, are really just Knox insurance.
What do you think? What could these position groups look like come Sept. 1 or whenever the final cut day is?