Cuts are Coming, Trade Winds Swirling, Roster Fits, Surprises on the Bubble, and Other Bullets

If you’re not already keeping track of who is on the chopping block ahead of the 3 p.m. deadline to trim rosters down to 53, we’ve got you covered right here.

  • Safety T.J. Ward just might be the best player who will hit free agency after the Denver Broncos parted ways with the three-time Pro Bowler on Saturday. It’s a move that’s reportedly not sitting well with his former teammates in Denver. Ward was Pro Football Focus’ 48th rated safety, but earned above average or better grades in each of the five years before 2016’s 75.9 rating.
  • I’m not sure there’s a fit for Ward with the Bears, despite having played quite well for John Fox, but there is little doubt he could provide an upgrade to whatever secondary he joins.
  • Adam Jahns and Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times have a run-down of the happenings at Halas Hall that’s worth keeping an eye on as the day progresses. One of the most interesting tidbits uncovered wasn’t a cut, but it was Ka’Deem Carey’s future placement on injured reserve – which could make him a candidate for an injury settlement down the line. Carey had wrist surgery that will keep him out of action for at least six weeks.
  • Among the players on the roster bubble who could sneak on to the Chicago Bears’ season-opening roster is outside linebacker Isaiah Irving. The Bears have already parted ways with a handful of their undrafted free agents, but Irving has been an under the radar surprise as a rookie pass rusher:
  • No Bears landed on Pro Football Focus’ Team of the Week for preseason Week 4, but former Bears backup David Fales was the highest-graded quarterback for his performance in the preseason finale. Fales was impressive connecting on the deep ball, completing 3 of 4 attempts for 128 yards, and a touchdown.
  • The New England Patriots’ ability to scout, draft, and develop quarterbacks has proven to be a boon once again for the defending Super Bowl champs. In search of help at wide receiver, the Patriots have traded quarterback Jacoby Brisett to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for wide receiver Phillip Dorsett – who was a first-round pick (29th overall) in 2015. Indianapolis has quarterback concerns surrounding Andrew Luck’s health, but the fact the team is trading a former first-round pick for quarterback insurance is a reminder of how poorly the prior front office drafted after selecting Luck in 2012.
  • Sammie Coates is another receiver on the move. Coates (and a seventh-round pick) was traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a sixth-round selection. That’s a relatively low cost for a receiver who turned 24 in March and was a third-round pick in 2015.
  • Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times writes the Rams are optimistic star defensive tackle Aaron Donald will report to the team soon, ending his holdout in the process. However, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk suggests perhaps they shouldn’t be in such high spirits. Florio reports the two sides aren’t close to finalizing a long-term deal, citing to a league source. Donald was the highest rated defensive lineman by PFF’s standards, earning a 98.5 grade – his second elite grade from the site in three seasons.
  • The battle between the NFL and NFLPA over Ezekiel Elliott is getting wild:
  • written by

    Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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