A pair of veteran players are now former members of the Bears. On Sunday evening, the Bears officially released offensive lineman Matt Slauson and safety Antrel Rolle.
“We thank Matt and Antrel for the dedication and leadership they brought to our organization,” Bears G.M. Ryan Pace said in a press release. “Both men did everything we asked of them. Part of growing as a team is making difficult decisions like the ones we made today. We never take them lightly given the respect we have for everyone who has put on a Bears uniform. We wish each of them the very best as they move forward.”
Slauson, 30, started all 16 games last year, his third with the Bears. He previously played for the Jets.
Due to make $2.887 million in 2016, Slauson will count $835,000 against the cap. If the Bears made him a post-June 1 cut, that amount will be split over the next two years.
Both Slauson and Rolle become immediate free agents. Still, it would have been far better for both to become free agents long before the draft, and definitely not after it ended.
Pace can say what he wants about respecting Rolle and Slauson, but if the team truly respected them they would have been cut at a time when they would have had a much better opportunity to find work elsewhere. Now that teams with needs at those positions have filled them through the draft, it becomes much harder.
But Welcome to the Family anyway, all you draft picks who eventually could be treated the same way by the Bears or one of the other 31 franchises.