Bears To Release Prince Amukamara, Taylor Gabriel

The Bears moved to clear some cap space on Friday by jettisoning two starters. They are releasing cornerback Prince Amukamara and wide receiver Taylor Gabriel, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Amukamara has been a Bears starter since he signed a one-year deal with Chicago in 2017. The ex-Giants first-round pick re-upped with the team on a long-term deal in 2018. One season remained on that three-year, $27MM contract. Two years remained on Gabriel’s pact. Altogether, the Bears will create $13.5MM in cap space by making these moves.

Gabriel signed a four-year, $26MM contract in 2018. That deal had no more guaranteed money. The ex-Falcon started 18 games for Chicago but battled injuries last season, limiting him to nine games. Chicago’s offense struggled as a whole last season, with Mitchell Trubisky regressing. The Bears drafted Anthony Miller and Riley Ridley over the past two years and possess greater needs than the wide receiver spot. Gabriel caught 96 passes for 1,041 yards and six touchdowns as a Bear. The 29-year-old target will get a head start on the receiver market because of this early cut.

Amukamara’s exit leaves a bigger hole. He was a key member of the Bears’ high-end defenses, starting alongside Kyle Fuller. The Bears, though, had a lot of money committed to their corner group after having signed slot man Buster Skrine a year re-upping Amukamara and matching the Packers’ offer sheet for the then-transition-tagged Fuller. Amukamara was set to earn a $9MM base salary in 2020.

Amukamara will turn 31 before Week 1 but figures to generate interest ahead of free agency. He settled for one-year deals with the Jaguars and Bears from 2016-17 before landing a multiyear Chicago accord. The Nebraska alum graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 41 corner last season, which came after he graded higher for the Bears’ No. 1-ranked scoring defense in 2018.

The Bears now hold closer to $20MM in cap space after entering Friday with barely $5MM. More moves could be on tap.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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23 comments on “Bears To Release Prince Amukamara, Taylor Gabriel

    • Banesays

      Because nobody is going to trade anything for someone who’s at risk of never playing again due to concussions.

    • Matthew Heywood

      Because trades don’t happen much in foot ball as why would I give you anything if I know you will cut him anyway. Also he has a concussion problem missed most of last year due to it

    • Gabriel dropped every pass when a defender was near him last year, who would trade for a slot receiver who can’t catch the ball in traffic?

    • crosseyedlemon

      The Bears didn’t dump a $9MM contract so they could pursue a replacement with a $12MM salary. A player like James Bradberry could be on their radar though.

  1. JJB0811

    ‘The Bears now hold closer to $20MM in cap space after entering Friday with barely $5MM. More moves could be on tap.’

    2 cuts frees up $15m in ‘cap room’? I read on BR, I think, that the Jags were right on the cusp of the cap, but by cutting 3 players they could carve out +/-$40M in cap space.

    The cap is as fictional as Godzilla.

  2. Slot receivers live a short life. There’s only so many times you can get whacked while catching a football before your body refuses to catch the ball in traffic.

    The slot receivers who are tough enough mentally will mostly be hurt by 30. Think of Pierre Garcon who caught everything thrown to him regardless of price until he suffered a neck injury in 2017, followed up by a knee injury in 2018.

  3. RockHauler

    Would love to see Prince back with Giants on a 2 year deal to help mentor the young secondary players now on Giants. He loved his time there and he wouldn’t have to worry about JPP throwing him in ice baths anymore!

    • crosseyedlemon

      I guess JJ’s comment about Godzilla being fictional was a bit premature.

    • rocky7

      Mentor….who’s going to mentor him….he stunk when he was on the Giants which is why he isn’t a Giant any longer…..no thanks….let him find another sucker out there…..and by the way, the only reason he looked good on that Bears defense was that the other players were so good it just masked how bad he really was!

  4. Rondon

    For the price, those 2 needed to go. They can go after a serious tight end and cornerback. They can fill the OL and WR needs in the draft… if their Hellen Keller GM doesn’t screw up the picks.

    • Rondon

      I don’t understand their belief in that guy. His complete lack of sack talent is a big reason why Mack was effectively double and triple teamed last year. Dump him!

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