The Chicago Bears will have a new fullback in 2017, if they decide to use one at all.
Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports the Bears released fullback Paul Lasike on Thursday. Lasike started in three of the 10 games he appeared in during the 2016 season, playing a total of 76 snaps – 51 of which were run blocking plays. He was given three carries, rushed for eight yards, and caught one pass for three yards.
Moving Lasike off the roster makes room for the potential addition of undrafted free agent signee Freddie Stevenson. The Florida State product was the lead blocker in 2014 and 2015 for teammate Dalvin Cook, who was drafted in the second round by the Minnesota Vikings. Stevenson added some rushing responsibilities in 2016 where he showed off some ability to plow through defenders on short-yardage carries.
The New Zealand-born Lasike played his college ball at Brigham Young after transitioning from rugby. He was originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in 2015 before being let go and eventually moving onto the Bears’ practice squad in September. Lasike moved on and off the practice squad before settling into a roster spot in November 2016.