The Chicago Bears cut ties with cornerback Tracy Porter on Monday, but that doesn’t mean his career is over.
It's the business of this league. If I stopped every time someone told me I couldn't, then I wouldn't have made it this far. #StillGrinding
— Tracy Porter (@__TPorter__) April 10, 2017
One of the benefits of the Bears waiving Porter at this stage of the offseason is that it allows him time to catch on with another team. And even if Porter doesn’t sign on with a new squad before the NFL Draft, there will likely be more clarity on what team gives him the best opportunity to latch on after the draft’s completion.
Porter isn’t a high-end cornerback at this stage of his career, but probably still has enough to be a veteran contributor for a contending team. As for the Bears, they clear up a bit of salary cap space, trim a roster spot, and allow for the possibility of adding a cornerback with high potential on draft weekend. You can check out an updated look at the team’s cornerback situation here.
But first, Tuesday’s Bullets.
- After missing Martellus Bennett’s contributions in 2016, the Bears attempted to improve the position by signing Dion Sims – a potential dual threat target with work to be done and development to come. Bob LeGere of the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald writes about Sims and returning starter Zach Miller being the team’s top options at the position going into the season. Adding Sims was necessary after Miller missed the final six weeks of the season with a fractured foot, the latest in a career of nagging injuries to sideline the tight end. Miller is the more polished of the two tight end options, especially when it comes to being a pass catcher. But Miller’s lack of availability (due to injuries) and advancing age do him no favors. Beyond Miller and Sims, the Bears’ tight ends are a deep, but inexperienced group. Daniel Brown, Ben Braunecker, and MyCole Pruitt are players on the younger side who will be in the mix for playing time as well.
- The team could still add to the mix, and do so in a creative way. For example, the team has asked Kansas State basketball player D.J. Johnson to try out for the team at tight end, according to Kellis Robinett of the Kansas City Star/Wichita Eagle. Johnson will be the latest to try to make the jump from college basketball to professional football, following in the footsteps of players such as Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, and Jimmy Graham. The 6-foot-9, 237-pound basketball forward played tight end and defensive end for Parkway North High School in St. Louis, according to his KSU bio.
- In case you missed it, the Bears rolled out their list of preseason opponents, featuring home games against the Broncos and Browns, while traveling to play the Cardinals and Titans. The Week 3 matchup against Tennessee stands out because it will be a nationally televised tilt on FOX, in what is commonly believed to be the most important game of the preseason. It’s a game the Bears have struggled with recently, losing each of the last three by a combined score of 78-23, according to the research of Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune.
- Alabama’s Jonathan Allen, a player the Bears could target with the No. 3 pick in the draft, has several meetings scheduled – including one with the team picking one spot ahead of the Bears:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 11, 2017
- The Bears didn’t take much time in re-issuing Jay Cutler’s No. 6. Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times has an eye on the numbers game playing out at Soldier Field, with quarterback Mark Sanchez taking the ‘6’ from Cutler. How often we’ll see it on the football field remains to be seen as Sanchez is slated to be Mike Glennon’s backup in 2017.
- Larry Mayer has the scoop on the other numbers, including a ’33d’ for new cornerback Prince Amukamara. Jeremy Langford was issued 33 when he joined the Bears, so I’m suddenly curious to see whether or not both will wear the number.
- Northwestern football standout Anthony Walker Jr. was given “The Franchise” as a nickname by teammates, and will get a chance to prove his skill to NFL franchises when he works out at the Bears’ pro day on Thursday. Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times puts the spotlight on Walker, who became the first Wildcats player in 20 years to declare early for the NFL Draft. The inside linebacker could slide in as a third or fourth round pick, but there doesn’t seem to be a fit for the Bears. However, Danny Trevathan’s knee injury could lead the Bears to draft this position to increase depth.
- Over at Pro Football Weekly, former Bears scouting director Greg Gabriel provides a peak behind the curtain at the NFL Draft. Gabriel shares that now is about the time where teams are finalizing their draft boards and seeking trades via phone calls. It’s a detailed read with a fair amount of behind-the-scenes perspective.
- The best rain delay theater you’ll ever see features a Bears fan who can name the score of any Bears game over the last 16 years. He’s good, but it’s a shame the Bears haven’t provided him with better results over the years:
We're on hour 2 of the rain delay, this guy told me he can name the score of any Bears game in the last 16 years. He hasn't been wrong yet pic.twitter.com/MyIttUlxEk
— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) April 11, 2017