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Bears roster breakdown, 90-in-90: William Poehls

NFL: Preseason-San Diego Chargers at Tennessee Titans Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Even though William Poehls (pronounced pails) has been bouncing around the NFL since 2014, he’s yet to appear in a regular season NFL game. He was an undrafted free agent by the Tennessee Titans after starting his final two years at Montana, and he spent 2014 and 2015 on their practice squad. He split 2016 between the practice squad’s of the Buffalo Bills and the Chicago Bears.

Chicago signed him to a reserve/futures deal in January, and his versatility may be a key to him sticking around as a reserve with the Bears. At Montana he played mostly right guard, but he also practiced at both tackle spots in Tennessee. Even though he’s 6’8”, the Bears have been using him at offensive guard this offseason.


Age: 25-years-old

Experience: 1 year

Height: 6-foot-8

Weight: 334 pounds

Contract and salary cap:

Spotrac has him down on a 1 year contract worth $465,000. Since he already has three years on various NFL practice squads, this is a make it or break it offseason for Poehls. Players can’t spend more than three years on practice squads.

Reason for improvement in 2017

At some point in a player’s career, they get it. Some get it quicker than others, but some never get it. Even though Poehls has yet to play in a regular season game, he has three years of NFL experience (at both OG and OT) under his belt. This offseason, the Bears have been lining him up with the first team on occasion with Kyle Long unavailable. His ability to play multiple positions along the offensives line may give him a leg up for a backup job.

Reason for regression in 2017

After three years bouncing around, maybe he is what he is; a guy that is just good enough to almost make an NFL roster.

Final roster odds

It’s fun to root for an underdog, and Poehls is just that. He’s in what could be his last offseason program, with his final training camp coming up. To keep his NFL dream alive, he needs to prove it this preseason, but I don’t see him outperforming the other backups on the Bears’ roster.

When teams cut down from 90 to 53, there will probably be some experienced offensive lineman available, which will hurt Poehls’ chances as well.