Eben Britton

Minor Moves: Monday

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here, with any updates being added to the top of the list:

  • Offensive lineman Eben Britton incurred a four-game suspension, according to The Sports XChange’s Howard Balzer on Twitter. The 27-year-old is a free agent and started 34 games for the Jaguars and Bears the past six seasons, respectively. The reason for Britton’s suspension was not specified.
  • Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall signed his exclusive rights tender today, agent Drew Rosenhaus tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (Twitter link). The 25-year-old Marshall started 13 games for Denver last season, racking up 95 tackles. He’ll be one of the club’s starting inside linebackers when it debuts its new 3-4 front this year.
  • The Colts have placed linebacker Aaron Morgan on the reserve/retired list, tweets Mike Chappell of RTV6. Morgan appeared in 18 games during his five-year career, seeing time with the Jaguars and Buccaneers in addition to Indianapolis.
  • Running back Da’Rel Scott and defensive tackle Nate Collins have both signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN (via Twitter). Both players participated in the recent veteran combine, adds Caplan (link).
  • Former 49ers receiver Ronald Johnson, a sixth-round pick in 2011, has signed with the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts, tweets Caplan.

Bears Re-Sign Eben Britton

3:20pm: The Bears have confirmed they’ve re-signed Britton, cutting wide receiver and special-teamer Micheal Spurlock to make room on the roster (Twitter link).

2:07pm: After some Week 1 injuries to their offensive line, the Bears are expected to bring back veteran offensive lineman Eben Britton, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter). The team had originally released Britton during its cutdown to 53 players at the end of August.

Britton, who spent the first four season of his NFL career with the Jaguars, saw 239 offensive snaps for the Bears in 2013, primarily at right guard. While the sample size was limited, Britton recorded a respectable +4.1 grade according to Pro Football Focus’ metrics (subscription required). The club re-signed the 26-year-old back in April, but he was unable to earn a spot on the Week 1 roster.

The Bears are in need of some veteran line depth after a Week 1 contest in which both center Roberto Garza and guard Matt Slauson suffered ankle injuries. It’s not clear yet how much time either player will miss, but the recoveries could take multiple weeks in both cases.

Bears Cut Eben Britton, Others

4:41pm: The Bears have officially announced all their cuts, so we can add the following names to the list of players no longer on the team’s active roster:

1:35pm: The Bears have also cut a duo of young defenders:

11:12am: The Bears cut down on their offensive line depth this morning, as Brad Biggs of The Chicago Tribune reports that Eben Britton will be released. The 26-year-old started four games for Chicago in 2013, seeing action on 235 snaps.

As Biggs notes, the only Bears backup lineman with any NFL experience is Brian De La Puente. The team appears ready to roll with rookies Charles Leno Jr. and Michael Ola.

The rest of the Bears moves are listed below:

Biggs On Bears: Clausen, McCray, McManis

One of the heartiest post-game reads around is the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs’ “10 thoughts,” and this morning’s wrap-up of the Bears’ loss in Seattle is full of tid-bits:

  • Technically teams have until 3 p.m. Tuesday to cut down from 90 to 75, but Biggs expects an announcement before Monday. “That’s because the Bears (and other teams) don’t want to go back to the practice field to prepare for the exhibition finale and have a player slated for the first wave of cuts suffer an injury. In that scenario, the team could be on the hook for several hundred thousand dollars if the injury is bad enough.”
  • Jimmy Clausen should be Jay Cutler‘s backup, in Biggs’ opinion. While the preseason numbers for Clausen and Jordan Palmer are similar, Clausen has looked more decisive and experienced.
  • “All signs point” to Danny McCray starting at safety in Week 1. “At this point, McCray might be about the only choice the Bears have at free safety,” says Biggs.
  • Austen Lane and Trevor Scott have shown well enough to wonder if the Bears will keep five defensive ends. David Bass, who was part of the rotation last season, looks like the odd man out.
  • Eben Britton‘s injury has opened the door for Michael Ola, who has played well and shown desirable versatility, increasing the chance he earns one of the team’s reserve lineman spots. Marc Trestman values his sixth lineman, as he used Britton for 235 snaps last season, primarily as an eligible tackle. “In a perfect world, coach Marc Trestman has a player that wears an eligible number to handle that role this season as an in-line blocker, extra tight end or even a presence in the backfield,” says Biggs, which is why tight end Matthew Mulligan looks like a “good bet” to secure a roster spot.
  • In “I’m not saying, I’m just saying” fashion, Biggs highlights the play of Sherrick McManis, a 26-year-old cornerback whose value to this point in his career has been as a core special-teams player. However, the Bears No. 4 and No. 5 cornerback spots are up for grabs, and Biggs notes “Since training camp has opened, McManis is at the tops of a chart in the defensive backs room for takeaways. He’s not only practiced well, he’s played well in preseason and has seven tackles on defense, one interception, one tackle for loss two passes deflected and two stops on special teams.” Biggs intimates McManis’ situation could have the Bears front office flashing back to that of Corey Graham, whom the team undervalued. Graham went on to earn a two-year deal in Baltimore where he played well enough on defense to get $8.1MM guaranteed from the Bills this March.

Bears Notes: Lynch, Jones, Palmer, Britton

Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch didn’t get a chance to hear his name called at the NFL Draft last week, but he is committed to making an NFL roster with the Bears, writes Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com. Lynch lined up in the backfield as a running back during the team’s rookie minicamp this weekend, fitting in with the other running backs just fine.

“Jordan’s a real football player, there’s no doubt about it,” said head coach Marc Trestman. “In Day 1, he certainly didn’t look out of place.

“It wasn’t tough at all,” Lynch said of his new position. “I’m a football player. I love football, and I’ll do whatever it takes to stay in the NFL. I guess the toughest thing is some footwork drills playing running back and just trying to pick up on little things with special teams and running back.”

Here are some more notes from Bears’ rookie minicamp:

  • Trestman said the team is closely following the play of undrafted free agent linebacker Christian Jones our of Florida State, reports Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com (via Twitter). Trestman noted his athleticism as an asset for the team.
  • Although sixth-round pick David Fales is practicing at the team’s rookie minicamp, Trestman still believes Jordan Palmer will be Jay Cutler‘s backup in 2014, according to Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times (via Twitter).
  • Offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer believes the starting five on the offensive line is solid, and that Eben Britton will be competing to be the sixth lineman, reports Jahns in a separate tweet“We feel good about our starting five,” said Kromer.

Bears To Re-Sign Eben Britton

The Bears have reached an agreement to retain free agent offensive lineman Eben Britton, the team announced today (via Twitter). Britton will return to Chicago on a one-year contract, according to the club.

Britton, who spent the first four season of his NFL career with the Jaguars, saw 239 offensive snaps for the Bears in 2013, primarily at right guard. While the sample size was limited, Britton recorded a respectable +4.1 grade according to Pro Football Focus’ metrics (subscription required). He’ll provide line depth for Chicago in 2014.

According to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (via Twitter), the Bears kicked the tires on Mike Brisiel after he was let go by the Raiders, but opted to re-sign Britton instead.