Breaking down the Bears’ roster cuts and additions:
The Bears re-signed cornerback Michael Joseph to a one-year deal. Joseph hardly played at Oswego High School before talking his way onto the team at Div. III Dubuque, where he became a star and was signed by the Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2018. He spent last year on injured reserve and also appeared on the NFL’s reseve/COVID-19 list.
Sources confirmed that offensive lineman Rashaad Coward, who started 15 games over the past two seasons with the Bears, agreed to sign a one-year deal with the Steelers. The Bears signed Coward as an undrafted free agent out of Old Dominion in 2017 and later converted him to offensive line from defensive line.
The Bears have re-signed special teams ace DeAndre Houston-Carson, a safety, to a one-year contract.
Super Bowl hero Damien Williams will join the Bears on a one-year deal. The running back was the first player in the history of the title game to run for more than 100 yards, catch a touchdown and rush for a score.
The Bears signed two veterans to one-year contracts: linebacker Christian Jones and tackle/guard Elijah Wilkinson. Jones spent the first four years of his career with the Bears, while Wilkinson figures to fight for the team’s starting right tackle spot.
Veteran outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu signed a two-year deal to join the Bears. He figures to take Barkevious Mingo’s spot as a backup edge rusher and reliable special teamer.
Long snapper Patrick Scales is returning on a one-year deal, the Bears said. He reunites the Bears’ special teams trio — which included punter Pat O’Donnell and kicker Cairo Santos — from last season. Scales first snapped with the Bears in 2015.
The Bears are signing former Pro Bowl cornerback Desmond Trufant to help replace Kyle Fuller, a source confirmed to the Sun-Times.
The salary cap-strapped Bears are cutting star cornerback Kyle Fuller rather than pay him $20 million in 2021, sources confirmed. Fuller will become the best available cornerback in the league.
Receiver Allen Robinson signed his franchise tag tender, which entitles him to $18 million this season unless he and the Bears can agree on a long-term deal.
Defensive lineman Brent Urban is signing a one-year contract with the Cowboys, his wife Tweeted.
Quarterback Mitch Trubisky found his soft landing spot. He’ll back up Josh Allen with the Buffalo Bills, who signed him to a one-year contract on Thursday.
The Bears agreed to sign defensive tackle Angelo Blackson to a two-year deal, a source confirmed to the Sun-Times late Wednesday night. Blackson started nine games for the Cardinals last season, one year after starting 15 for the Texans.
Former Bears Pro Bowl offensive lineman Kyle Long, who just last week returned from a one-year retirement, agreed to sign with the Chiefs on a one-year deal.
Backup safety Deon Bush, who has been a special teams stalwart since the team drafted him five years ago, is returning on a one-year deal, the Bears said.
The Bears won’t tender a contract to Eddy Pineiro, a source said, making the kicker a free agent. The move comes as no surprise after the Bears gave Cairo Santos a three-year deal last week.
Right tackle Germain Ifedi is returning to the Bears on a one-year, $5 million contract, per NFL Network. Ifedi played all 16 games in his first year with the Bears, starting at right guard before replacing injured right tackle Bobby Massie.
The Bears agreed to sign quarterback Andy Dalton to a one-year, $10 million contract that can be worth $13 million after incentives, sources confirmed. Dalton, who played for the Cowboys last year after spending his entire career with the Bengals, is expected to start over Nick Foles.
Defensive lineman Roy Robertson-Harris is leaving on a major free-agent deal. NFL Network reported he agreed to a three-year, $24.4 million contract with the Jaguars, blowing away the $5.6 million he totaled over his first five seasons with the Bears.
Defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. agreed to re-sign with the Bears after a career year. He’ll sit out the first two games of 2021 for violating the NFL ban on performance-enhancing drugs.
The Bears are bringing back punter Pat O’Donnell on a one-year deal, continuing his career with the franchise that drafted him in 2014.
Cairo Santos‘ stellar season earned the placekicker a three-year contract that can be worth up to $11 million, a source confirmed. His deal is technically a five-year, $17.5 million contract extension, with the last two years able to be voided for salary-cap reasons. Santos set a Bears record with a field-goal percentage of 93.8 last year despite first joining the team in training camp. He was set to become a free agent on March 17.
As expected, the Bears gave wide receiver Allen Robinson the franchise tag. He’ll make $18 million in 2021 unless he and the team can negotiate a long-term contract by mid-July. Robinson and the Bears, of course, could have done just that anytime in the last year — and didn’t. He’s vented his frustration about negotiations and the franchise tag in recent months.
The Bears re-signed five of their exclusive rights free agents: running back Ryan Nall, inside linebacker Josh Woods, outside linebacker James Vaughters, guard Alex Bars and tight end J.P. Holtz. The moves were expected, as exclusive rights free agents — players with less than three years’ experience — have until the start of the league season to sign a contract with their team; if they don’t, they can hit the free agent market.
General manager Ryan Pace confirmed the Bears were cutting slot cornerback Buster Skrine. Skrine, 31, missed the last month of last season with a concussion — the sixth reported one during his career. The Bears will save about $2.7 million in 2021 cap space by cutting Skrine, who played in 28 games after signing a three-year deal.