The NFL cut deadline was at 3:00 PM (Central) on Tuesday and the Bears made some questionable moves to get to the required mark.
Aside from a lack of defensive back depth, the Bears strayed from a usual tendency. The team went into the deadline with five wide receivers and five tight ends. Usually, the Bears would employ a 6 WR/4 TE split, but Jesper Horsted's immaculate preseason forced the Bears to carry an extra tight end instead of a receiver, or so it seemed.
Breshad Perriman Enters the Mix
Today, the Bears signed Breshad Perriman to a one-year deal, according to Perriman's agent.
Perriman, 27, was a first-round selection by the Baltimore Ravens in 2015. While he hasn't lived up to his first-round billing, he still possesses the elite physical tools that resulted in his high draft slot. Perriman is a big-bodied receiver, standing at 6-foot-2 and weighing in at 215 lbs.
He may not move as fast as he did upon entering his rookie year, but one scout's stopwatch clocked Perriman running a 4.19 40-yard dash time at Central Florida's 2015 pro day. While that may not be the most accurate time, his game speed is up there with the best of them.
Over the last few years, Perriman has carved out a nice role on a few different rosters. He should be able to do the same in Chicago, as the Bears desperately need another receiver with home-run play potential. Perriman owns a career average of 16.5 yards per reception, and more importantly, he has the ability to make things happen after the catch. Perriman could very well turn out to be a quality under-the-radar signing for the Bears if he hauls in 25-30 receptions with half of those going for chunk yardage.
Who's The Odd Man Out?
In addition to signing Perriman, the Bears claimed Nsimba Webster off waivers from the 49ers today, which is a bit of a confusing development.
The Bears are able to make some room on their 53-man roster by moving Teven Jenkins and Danny Trevathan to injured reserve, but carrying seven wide receivers going into the season isn't an ideal setup, even if a couple of them can be returners. For the Bears to justifiably carry seven wideouts, the sixth and seventh options of the group would have to be four-prong special teamers. Claiming a player off waivers guarantees he will be on the 53-man roster after the transaction clears, which means someone will now have to be the odd man out in the wide receiver room.
When looking at other names among the position group, Rodney Adams deserves a spot on the Bears roster. He consistently made plays throughout training camp and in the preseason. Adams and Justin Fields have developed a natural chemistry on the second team, which would be nice to have in tow when the Bears inevitably switch to Fields at quarterback. Parting ways with Adams also wouldn't be the greatest look for the front office and coaching staff. Why place a player on your 53-man roster just to cut him the next day, especially after he did everything asked of him to make the roster? It would just be a bad visual.
Digging further into the wide receiver room, it seems like Damiere Byrd might be the player getting cut. Byrd didn't do much to earn his spot this offseason and there is enough tape out there to know what he is at this point. Time will tell what the Bears' ultimate decision ends up being, but today's transactions certainly add another level of intrigue to the wide receiver room.