Plan is to sign veteran C Will Montgomery today. RT @BradBiggs: #Bears have informed C Roberto Garza he will be released.— Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) April 2, 2015
EDIT: It's official...
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bears?src=hash">#Bears</a> have released veteran center Roberto Garza and signed free-agent center Will Montgomery to a one-year contract.</p>— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) <a href="https://twitter.com/ChicagoBears/status/583667470935977984">April 2, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Roberto Garza has played 14 seasons in the NFL, the last 10 with the Chicago Bears. His 154 games played as a Bear, rank him 26th all time in the franchise's history.
Garza, who just turned 36 years old, was given a 1 year extension by the previous regime back in December. His guaranteed money was applied to the 2014 salary cap, meaning the Bears will save a little over a million dollars on the 2015 cap with his release.
The Bears are expected to sign nine year veteran center Will Montgomery to replace Garza. Montgomery, who just turned 32 years old, played in Denver last year with Chicago Bears head coach John Fox, offensive coordinator Adam Gase and offensive line coach Dave Magazu. Montgomery started his career in Carolina in 2006, also playing for John Fox. He has started 71 games in his career at both center and guard, including the last 8 games last season.
Including Denver's playoff game, Pro Football Focus gave Montgomery a +6.6 for his 665 offensive snaps in 2014. PFF gave Roberto Garza a -1.3 for his 770 snaps.
I wouldn't expect Montgomery to be the long term answer at center for the Bears, but he will provide an experienced stop-gap that knows the soon to be implemented offensive system.
Montgomery now becomes the lone experienced center on the roster. Undrafted rookie Ryan Groy, who played a few games at guard last year, has practiced at center and would be considered #2 at that position for now.
What are your thoughts on this latest roster shuffle?