Earlier, we celebrated the arrival of June 2. That’s because it meant salary cap space created from post-June 1 cuts were officially in the books. Or to put it in a more digestible way, the Bears found some much-needed salary cap space.
And with said space, they wasted little time getting their draft picks in the fold.
The Bears announced the signings of five draft picks on Wednesday. Day 3 picks Larry Borom, Khalil Herbert, Dazz Newsome, Thomas Graham Jr., and Khyiris Tonga are officially the newest members of Chicago’s football team. There wasn’t any doubt those deals would get done. But it’s always nice to cross some “T’s” and dot some “I’s” to make things officially official.
Now that these players are officially in the mix, we can discuss how each of them could carve a niche role as a rookie. All without feeling nervous about them not having signed contracts.
For instance, Herbert and Newsome could be immediate contributors in the return game. Both could have a hand at what happens at their respective position group. Adding Herbert to the backfield could give David Montgomery time for rest and/or allow for special deployment of Tarik Cohen. I’ll be curious to see how quickly Newsome can get up to speed with the receivers after suffering a collarbone injury earlier in the week.
Graham finds himself in a battle for playing time at a loaded cornerback position. Xavier Crawford, Artie Burns, Kindle Vildor, Tre Roberson, Duke Shelley, Michael Joseph, and Teez Tabor are among the warm bodies competing for playing time. In other words, what happens behind Jaylon Johnson and Desmond Trufant on the depth chart is anyone’s guess.
Borom is something of a developmental project as far as offensive linemen are concerned. However, he could make some hay this summer and possibly earn a starting role. On the other side o the one, Tonga brings a large body who could be the next rotational defensive lineman for Chicago to develop.
As it stands, this leaves just two Bears rookies without contracts — Justin Fields and Teven Jenkins. No reason to worry about that stuff now. Especially since both were at Wednesday’s OTAs.