The Bears have begun to pare down their roster to the required 53-man limit in advance of tomorrow’s deadline, having already elected to release veteran offensive lineman Robert Turner, as we heard earlier today. Now, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune has provided a few more names who won’t make the cut for the Bears’ regular-season roster. Here’s the list of Bears cuts so far, with any newly-reported names added to the list throughout the day:
2:49pm: The Bears have officially confirmed the signings of Spurlock and Edwards (Twitter link). To clear room on the roster, the club has waived linebacker Tana Patrick and terminated Hixon’s contract with an injury settlement.
2:28pm: The Bears have two of the top receivers in the game in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, but may not have a ton of reliable contributors behind that duo on the depth chart. The team parted ways with Devin Hester and Earl Bennett this offseason, and newly-acquired free agent WR Domenik Hixon tore his ACL during OTAs. Given the need for additional depth at the position, the Bears will bring aboard a pair of receivers, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link), who reports that Micheal Spurlock and Armanti Edwards are signing with the club.
Spurlock, 31, has played for the Cardinals, Buccaneers, Niners, Jaguars, Chargers, Cowboys, and Lions since entering the league in 2006. The veteran wideout didn’t catch a pass during the 2013 season, but returned 22 punts and 15 kicks for Detroit. Spurlock had his most productive season as a receiver in 2012, when he split time between Jacksonville and San Diego, hauling in 23 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown for the year.
As for Edwards, the former third-round pick played quarterback at Appalachian State but has been used more frequently as a receiver and wildcat weapon when he’s seen the field in the NFL. In parts of four seasons with the Panthers and Browns, Edwards has compiled just six receptions for 131 yards.
Spurlock and Edwards both figure to compete for spots on the Bears’ regular-season roster.
Ray Rice tried to clear the air in a recent press conference, but that won’t stop the NFL from penalizing the Pro-Bowl running back under the league’s personal-conduct policy. The Ravens are prepared for a multiple-game suspension and Rice will meet soon with commissioner Roger Goodell, writes Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun.
Team President Dick Cass spoke on the matter: “I’m assuming he will meet with the commissioner at some point in the near future and make a decision about what discipline, if any, is appropriate. I’m not going to speculate. The commissioner is going to decide that. I’m going to leave it to the commissioner.”
Teammate Torrey Smith added: “You do something that draws attention like this, it deserves punishment. Whatever it may be, whether it’s fines or suspensions, I can’t really say. Something happens like that and, obviously, it doesn’t look good on him on him or the league or the organization. Whatever punishments they dish out, he’ll handle it and we’ll handle it as a team and we’ll accept it.”
Let’s take a look at some more notes from the AFC…
- When asked if the Browns could re-sign Armanti Edwards to be the team’s return man, ESPN.com’s Pat McManamon squashed the idea.
- Excluding Red Bryant and Tyson Alualu, ESPN.com’s Michael DiRocco says that Chris Clemons and Andre Branch are the only defensive ends that are locks to make the Jaguars roster. DiRocco believes the competition will ultimately be between Gerald Rivers and Chris Smith, unless the duo outplays Jason Babin in camp.
- DiRocco also points out that there are only seven Jaguars remaining from Gene Smith‘s four drafts.
The NFL believes the Eagles released DeSean Jackson based on football reasons and not due to alleged gang connections, according to NFL senior vice president of law and labor policy Adolpho Birch. “I think we are comfortable that the decisions that were made on both ends were football decisions,” Birch told reporters, according to Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Both sides, the objective that they sought from a football perspective, they got, whether that be the Eagles or the Redskins. I think the player’s going to be in a good position. I think at the end of the day, everyone was comfortable with that.”
- Cardinals veteran Darnell Dockett was sad to see Karlos Dansby go to the Browns this offseason, writes Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. “I’ve got a lot of respect for our guy that left, I love him like a brother but we were one or two pieces away from making a lot of noise,” Dockett said. “But we are going to regroup. Our GM, coaches, owner will get someone to fill that role and we’ve got guys with enthusiasm of getting that opportunity for that role. They know they have big shoes to fill.“
- Former Vikings and Cardinals cornerback A.J. Jefferson worked out for the Seahawks today, a source told Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The 26-year-old saw action in ten games last season for Minnesota.
- Wide receiver Armanti Edwards is also working out for the Seahawks, a source tells Caplan (on Twitter). The wide receiver/special teamer split time between the Panthers and Browns last season. His campaign ended in November when he suffered an ankle injury in Cleveland.
- Former Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson had a very positive visit with the Texans today, tweets Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports. Getlin adds (link) that Robinson’s agent, Eric Metz, has been good friends with Houston offensive line coach Paul Dunn since college. If the Texans are really high on Robinson, they can likely move down a few spots and walk away with additional picks.
- Sources tell Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com that if the Texans take a defensive player first overall and draft a quarterback atop the second round, Jimmy Garoppolo and Derek Carr, if available, would be Houston’s top two targets.
- Baylor’s Demetri Goodson is scheduled to meet with the Texans on Saturday, tweets Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle. The Cowboys, Dolphins, Saints and Eagles have also shown interest in the former Gonzaga point guard turned cornerback.