Eleven Players Signed Reserve/Future Contracts With the Bears

The Chicago Bears don’t have a head coach or general manager in place right now.

But that isn’t keeping the team from being active. Nope. The roster churn never stops in the NFL. Not even when your coach and GM have been shown the door.

With that in mind, get to know 11 players who were signed to reserve/future contracts on Tuesday:

•   QB Ryan Willis, who was the Bears’ emergency quarterback when injuries and a rash of COVID-19 cases ate at the availability of Chicago’s signal callers. Keeping Willis, who was on the practice squad at year’s end, means the Bears have three QBs on the roster and under contract. Willis joins Justin Fields and Nick Foles in the position room.

•   WRs Isaiah Coulter and Nsimba Webster both spent time on the active roster this season. Webster began the season as the Bears’ top return option. That didn’t last long, as the team would later acquire Pro Bowler Jakeem Grant Sr. to fill the role. Webster was dynamic in stints with the Rams and Niners, so I’ll have an interest in seeing if he can make it through to training camp. Remember, this part of the roster can be fluid throughout the offseason.

•   OL Tyrone Wheatley Jr. and Dieter Eiselen are part of the mix, too. Eiselen has two games of experience under his belt from the 2021 campaign. Meanwhile, Wheatley, whose father was an NFL running back, remains with the team for a full offseason.

•   CBs Michael Joseph and BoPete Keyes both saw action last year on the active roster. They’ll be part of the cornerbacks room to stat this part of the offseason.

•   DTs Auzoyah Alufohai and LaCale London join the squad. London, who has been on the practice squad two years running, picked up some game experience in 2021.

•   OLBs Ladarius Mack and Charles Snowden combined to suit up in five games, with Khalil’s younger brother seeing time in three contests. Sorry, I refuse to call a man who checks in at 6-1 and 237 pounds someone’s “little” brother.

If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering who’s calling the shots on these transactions. And that’s fair. Seeing how the Bears aren’t currently employing a GM or head coach, pegging someone as the one responsible for these moves isn’t as cut-and-dry as we’d like. Don’t get me wrong, I’m almost as befuddled as you are. But perhaps I can provide an explanation.

Josh Lucas (Director of Player Personnel) and Champ Kelly (Assistant Director of Player Personnel) are still employed by the Bears. While former GM Ryan Pace (and Head Coach Matt Nagy) have been scrubbed from the team’s website, this leaves Lucas and Kelly as the two highest-ranking members of the football operations department.

Seeing that these front office types tend to have their contracts run through each year’s NFL Draft, it would make sense that one of these two (perhaps both?) are in charge of minor moves like these. But, hey, at least that GM search is coming along nicely:

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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