The Bears have terminated the contract of veteran punter Adam Podlesh, the team announced today (Twitter link). Podlesh had two years remaining on his contract, which carried a cap number of $1.825MM for 2014. By cutting him, Chicago will take on $800K in dead money for the coming season, creating just over $1MM in cap savings.
Podlesh, 30, has been the Bears’ starting punter since the 2011 season, but is coming off arguably his worst year as a pro. Podlesh averaged 40.6 yards per punt in 68 tries, the worst mark of his seven-year career, and his net average of 37.9 was the worst since his rookie season. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), the former Jaguar ranked dead last out of 41 qualified punters in 2013.
With Podlesh out of the picture, either Drew Butler or Tress Way could end up winning Chicago’s starting punter job for 2014. Discussing the team’s three punters at last month’s combine, GM Phil Emery said, “It’s a wide open competition.”