The Chicago Bears created some additional roster space a day before the start of this weekend’s rookie mini-camp by letting go of some noticeable names:
We have released WR Eddie Royal and waived OL Cornelius Edison, FB Paul Lasike, and DL Will Sutton. pic.twitter.com/3h1R5V2hAJ
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 11, 2017
The Bears released wide receiver Eddie Royal, while also waiving defensive lineman Will Sutton, offensive lineman Cornelius Edison, and fullback Paul Lasike. Earlier, we discussed how moving Lasike off the roster cleared a path for undrafted free agent fullback Freddie Stevenson from Florida State to stake his claim to a starting role. Assuming, of course, the Bears employ and utilize a fullback this season.
Parting ways with Royal was expected this offseason. Royal earned $10 million the last two seasons as part of a three-year deal he signed in 2015 that was worth up to $15 million. However, Royal, who had a base salary of $5 million in 2017, has played in only 18 of the team’s last 32 games.
By Pro Football Focus’ grading scale, Royal graded as poor (51.4 grade) in 2015 and below average (64.3) in 2016. Royal finished his Bears career with 70 catches, 607 receiving yards, and three touchdowns and returned 20 punts for 182 yards (9.1 yards per return) and a touchdown.
Sutton is the other big name to be let go by the Bears this afternoon. He joins fellow defensive lineman Ego Ferguson as Phil Emery draft picks from the class of 2014 who were placed on the waiver wire by the Bears this offseason. He was the team’s third-round selection in 2014, and made 36 appearances (18 starts) over three years, finishing with 39 tackles – but no sacks. After two sub-par years by PFF’s standards, Sutton graded out as an average player with a 74.8 grade in 174 total snaps. He’ll be 26 in October, so he is still young enough to have a chance to join a club if he’s healthy. Sutton ended 2016 on injured reserve after suffering an ankle injury in Week 10.
After waiving Sutton, the Bears only have five players who were drafted during the Phil Emery Era on their roster.
Edison played six games for the Bears in 2016. The Bears signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Portland State in 2015.