Last night's reported cut spree ended with three players that made you scratch your head and three fairly-high-profile cuts. While the cuts of Greg Herd, Derricus Purdy and Peyton Thompson won't really move the needle for most fans beyond "Who?", the latter three at this point in the process are fairly telling about the team's plans going forward.
The writing was probably on the wall for Michael Ford once the Bears drafted Ka'Deem Carey, added Shaun Draughn (who before we forget is 27 and entering his fourth year in the league) and a couple other youngsters. Ford last year was the third running back behind Matt Forte and Michael Bush, and had five kick returns last season, the longest of which was 11 yards per Pro Football Reference. Ford doesn't return kicks well, and coupled with a mid-round draft choice and another couple of pickups that are flashing well, Ford got squeezed out.
Where things get interesting are in the cuts of Nate Collins and Adrian Wilson.
Collins was playing to come back from a torn ACL, and while he hadn't flashed all that well, he still had a couple things working against him in addition - namely, two high-to-mid draft picks in Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton, and the versatility of Lamarr Houston. We'll discuss this more tonight on the livestream (shameless plug, we're streaming at 6 PM CT), but Collins had to contend with Stephen Paea and Jeremiah Ratliff as presumable starters, the aforementioned Ferguson (2nd-round pick) and Sutton (3rd-round pick), and Lamarr Houston kicking inside on passing downs to get some extra interior pass rush. Collins could have contributed as a fifth defensive tackle, but Houston sliding over takes out the need for that - but it's paramount Houston not take an injury this year.
So, the interesting question about Collins' cut is, if the Bears keep ten defensive linemen as they insisted earlier this year, who's number ten? Are Cornelius Washington's and David Bass' chances of making the roster better than anticipated? And do six defensive ends have a place on the roster?
Adrian Wilson's cut is a little surprising from the perspective of the playing time he got earlier in preseason, but he still looks slow and didn't get many snaps (if any; I didn't notice him) in the game against Seattle. But he's a little squeezed out by numbers as well. The Bears attacked the position furiously in the draft and free agency, and between the returning starter in Chris Conte, the draft pick in Brock Vereen, and the additions of Ryan Mundy and Danny McCray, keeping Wilson doesn't really work. That's four safeties right there, and if the Bears want to keep number five, they already have Craig Steltz, whom they're familiar with and has a role on special teams.
We'll see what happens going forward, if all these cuts (from Biggs yesterday) happen officially, the Bears are down to 83 on the official roster, and need to get to 75 by Tuesday's deadline.