One day after setting the groundwork for a significant re-tooling by getting the ball rolling on a Khalil Mack trade, another popular member of the 2018 Chicago Bears appears to be on his way out the door, too.
Tarik Cohen, an All-Pro returner, do-it-all running back, and the Bears’ 2021 recipient of the Ed Block Courage award, is about to be let go:
Bears are releasing RB Tarik Cohen with an injury designation, per source. He is not able to pass a physical yet stemming from his knee injury during the 2020 season. Cohen’s goal is to be ready in time for this upcoming season.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 11, 2022
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Bears are cutting Cohen. And it isn’t a run-of-the-mill release, either. Schefter notes the team is parting ways with Cohen by way of an injury designation. That is because the knee injury that cost Cohen to miss 13 games in 2020 and the entire 2021 season hasn’t gotten back to full strength. Neither Matt Nagy nor Ryan Pace came forward to say it specifically, but their actions (RE: not activating Cohen) turned out to be more telling than whatever words they would have used.
At the end of the day, this stinks for Cohen. Suffering a gruesome knee injury is bad on its own. But to not fully recover during a normal timetable, then getting cut stings. A player who gave so much in terms of effort and entertainment deserves a much better ending than a Friday morning cut.
The move creates $2.25 million in space under the salary cap. It brings the Bears to being $32,023,726 under the cap in 2022. But it comes at the cost of losing one of the team’s better home-grown draft picks in the process.