CHICAGO – The Bears came into the draft with just six picks, but they finished with 11 after a flurry of Day 3 trades from Ryan Poles.
Their roster stood at 74 players after the draft, but their 20 reported undrafted free agent signings pushed the roster 94, which is above the allowed limit of 90. Therefore, some cuts had to be made.
One of the cuts was veteran quarterback and former Pro Bowler Nick Foles. The Bears tried to trade Foles before the draft, but it was to no avail.
Foles’ $10.67 million cap hit was simply unsustainable for a quarterback who may not even win the backup job. The Bears signed Trevor Siemian back in March and he’s expected to be the backup to Justin Fields in 2022.
Chicago cleared close to $3 million in cap room after Foles’ release.
The move makes sense, however, Siemian is a questionable backup, himself. He was not good as Jameis Winston’s injury replacement in 2021, going 0-4 as a starter. Sean Payton eventually benched Siemian in favor of Taysom Hill, who finished the season out as the team’s starter.
Yes, you can’t have a third-string quarterback -or even a second-stringer- taking up nearly $11 million in cap room. However, it’s still a good idea to have as many capable quarterbacks as possible and Siemian’s capabilities are questionable, at best. And, clearing $3 million in cap room for a team that had over $10 million in cap space before the move isn’t really a game-changer, by any means.
The Bears have one other quarterback on the roster in Ryan Willis. He’s never taken an offensive snap in the NFL. It’s clear that if Fields goes down with injury, then the Bears season goes down with him.
It’s plausible to think the connection between Bears quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko and Siemian is why the Bears have faith in Siemian. Janocko was the Vikings’ co-offensive line coach in 2018 when Siemian played in Minnesota, so there is familiarity, there.
Either way, barring any other additions, it looks as if the Bears quarterback room is set for 2022.
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