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Bears roster breakdown, 90-in-90: Ka’Deem Carey

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NFL: Chicago Bears at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Since Ka’Deem Carey was drafted in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, he hasn’t had many opportunities with the Chicago Bears. In three years, he’s appeared in 37 games, and he’s only had 111 rushing attempts. That’s a paltry three carries per game.

We used to have a small, but vocal, Ka’Deem Carey fan club that took time to comment here at Windy City Gridiron, but lack of opportunities and the emergence of Jordan Howard as a Pro Bowl tailback, kind of silenced them a bit.

At the University of Arizona, even though he was small in stature (5’9”, 207), Carey was known as a guy that could wear down a defense. The more he ran the ball, the more effective he became. As a sophomore in 2012, he had 303 rushes, for 1,929 yards and 23 touchdowns. His junior year saw him rack up 1,885 yards, on 349 carries, with 19 touchdowns.

He slipped on draft day, in part, because he didn’t have good straight line speed. In the right system, and in the right situation, I think Carey could be a productive back. He’s a tough runner, but that “tough runner” space on the Bears is currently occupied by Jordan Howard.

Biography

Age: 24-years-old

Experience: Fourth season

Height: 5-foot-10

Weight: 215 pounds

Contract and salary cap

Carey is still on his rookie contract that he signed in 2014. When he signed it was for 4 years, $2,663,380, and $443,380 guaranteed. This year, Carey has a cap hit of $800,845, and if he’s cut, there’ll be $110,845 in dead money.

Reason for improvement in 2017

Carey did have a lot of miles on his tread from his time in college, so I’d imagine he’s pretty fresh heading into the 2017 season.

Is that a reason for him to improve? I don’t know, I’m kind of grasping at straws here...

Carey could come into camp in the best shape of his life, and it still might not be enough to make the roster.

Reason for regression in 2017

He may not regress, there just may not be a place on the team for him in 2017. With free agent addition Benny Cunningham, and rookie Tarik Cohen now in the mix, Carey might be the odd man out.

Final roster odds

With Jordan Howard the clear cut number one, Carey will need to prove some value as a special teamer. He won’t do it as a returner, so he’ll have to prove it in other ways. His 110 snaps (25.7%) in the 3rd phase was more than any returning running back on the roster, but Cunningham may be able to fill the special teams void if Carey is released. Plus, Cunningham has proven to be a more productive pro in his four years with the Rams.

Rookie Tarik Cohen is probably a roster lock, and Jeremey Langford has been ahead of Carey on the depth chart the last couple years, so I don’t like his odds to make the final 53. A good preseason might land him a spot on another roster however.