It’s a Saturday afternoon roster shuffle for the Bears that could ultimately be the end of the road for two players on the opposite ends of their career arc in Chicago.
Let’s check it out:
#Bears roster moves:
We have signed OL Corey Levin and TE Eric Saubert to the active roster and have placed DB Sherrick McManis and TE Adam Shaheen on Injured Reserve (IR).
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) November 30, 2019
Tight end Adam Shaheen and defensive back Sherrick McManis have been placed on injured reserve, ending each player’s respective season with the Bears. Let’s take a moment to discuss these players’ respective futures now that their seasons are over.
The 2019 season has been no different for Shaheen than his first two years, though this one has been extra cruel. Before suffering a foot injury in practice leading up to the Bears’ Week 11 contest, Shaheen was a healthy scratch for the team’s Week 10 win against the Lions. Shaheen’s benching came after back-to-back weeks of costly miscues against the Chargers (running the wrong route in a goal-line situation) and Eagles (mishandling a kickoff that led to a turnover, eliminating the Bears from getting a final possession) a week later.
Overall, Shaheen has just 26 catches for 249 yards and four touchdowns in 27 career games over three years. That lack of production and inability to stay healthy could have Shaheen on the outside looking in on a roster spot next season. Chicago could cut Shaheen this upcoming offseason and save an estimated $1,270,980 in cap room, all while incurring a minimal ($609,639) dead cap hit by OverTheCap.com’s calculations. The Bears are an estimated $2,991,934 over the cap as of now, so that type of move would get them closer to where they need to be to make more important moves next spring.
On the other end of the spectrum, McManis is the longest-tenured Bears player who still might have a future in Chicago.
McManis suffered a groin injury in the Bears’ win against the Giants last Sunday, and while he won’t be back this season, it is easy to see a scenario in which he returns for a ninth year with the team. Even in his age 32 season, McManis still played special teams at a high level and has been part of a turnaround that has this group in the top half of Football Outsiders’ special teams DVOA grade. McManis has also chipped in with more secondary work, playing safety and nickel corner over the last two years. The Northwestern product has carved a niche on this roster, so it is plausible to see him back in a Bears uniform.
With McManis and Shaheen out, the Bears signed offensive lineman Corey Levin and tight end Eric Saubert to fill in on the 53-man roster.
Levin was a sixth-round pick by the Titans in 2018 who was on the Broncos’ practice squad before being poached by the Bears. As a rookie in Tennessee, Levin made appearances in all 16 games and even picked up a start. Levin is an interior lineman by trade, and his presence on the roster bulks up a banged up group that is starting backups at right guard and right tackle. Saubert, who played his high school ball in Hoffman Esttes, was signed off the Raiders’ practice squad to add to the position group. The Falcons picked Saubert in the fifth-round of the 2017 NFL Draft, then traded him to the Patriots in August 2019. Saubert was waived by New England after preseason ended, but landed with Oakland’s practice squad.
At minimum, it will be nice to have some warm-bodied depth on the back end of the roster heading into Week 14 against the Cowboys.