Bears part ways with Matt Slauson, too


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.

40 responses to “Bears part ways with Matt Slauson, too

  1. Wow. I am on board with the Rolle cut, but Slauson saved our bacon at not one, but two positions last year (G and C) and still has plenty left in the tank.

    A potential LT/LG starting combo of Charles Leno and a 2nd round rookie converting from college tackle should have Jay Cutler nervous. It looks like Pace is playing Moneyball with the OL and I really hope it doesn’t come back to bite them.

  2. Stupid move!! Slauson was the best lineman on the Bears the last couple of years. Won’t take him long to find a new team I’m sure.

  3. Yeah they should have just cut them early on and took if for granted that they would be able to replace them in FA and in the draft. I’m sure that is what a smart GM would have done. They should probably hang on to aging veterans as long as they are fan favorites too. I’m really upset with Ryan Pace for not putting the feelings of his players above the team.

    Oh wait the NFL is a business? Who knew?

    Is that why contracts so often have bonuses at odd times to ensure the players will either get cut early or get paid enough so that it won’t matter???

  4. Rolle i understand, but not slauson. He makes under $3 mill a year. He could’ve been starting center. Not liking how pace treats the veterans. Tillman, forte, to name a few. Cutting ties bcuz they’re turning 30 is dumb.

  5. So the Bears did what is best for the Bears. You can’t view that negatively. Their paychecks didn’t bounce. It’s worse for Slauson and Rolle. but waiting until you see what happens in the draft before cutting a vet isn’t unethical in any way.

  6. No, this one doesn’t make sense from a player-level value comparison.. This is CLEARLY the Bears building up MONEY RESERVE.

    Who are they trying to afford…?


  7. Should not have released Slauson.

    Why couldn’t they just slide him over to C?

    Someone’s gonna get a solid OG for cheap.

    And I don’t think releasing either Rolle or Slauson is dirty pool.

    As if Pace knew beforehand how the draft was going to break.

    Plus, if you’re a good player, you’ll find work.

    Plenty of teams still have holes at S or OG.

  8. What scares me is that anyone could see Hroniss Grasu was not ready to play in the NFL and may be another whole year away from being a starting caliber C if he ever gets there at all. When Slauson played C instead of Grasu the OL and the whole offense was noticeably better. That said, I do realize that Ted Larsen, and Ramirez can both play C and there has also been speculation that may be Whitehair’s ultimate best fit in the NFL so at least not like Pace has set up some contingencies there in case Grasu is a bust.

    The biggest loss may be in the locker room where Slauson was rock solid and loved by his teammates and the local media alike.

  9. If they just wanted to get rid of his talent/contract–he was TRADEABLE.

    This was too rushed – they need to open cap space immediately. There’s an EXPENSIVE deal on the table…


  10. No problem with a team releasing vets.
    No problem with asking players to take pay cuts.
    But it kind of sucks to do it after the draft.

    Players should have a clause in their contract along the lines of:
    If the player is on the roster on the 3rd day of the league year, they team must pay him X (which is part of his yearly compensation). This way teams will cut players sooner rather than later.

    I don’t see why most players don’t have this.

  11. Both of these guys made it in the NFL past their 30th birthday. That’s a heck of a career with the average life span of a player being ~5 years.

    Don’t be so dramatic.

  12. As a bears fan, let’s call the Slauson move for what it is:
    Getting rid of quality starters for unproven draft picks who haven’t see the field is a quick way to sink a team

  13. I know Florio hates the NFL, but cry me a river!!

    They play a game, and make millions to do it. They work 2-3 years and get a lifetime of earnings. So they got cut. So???? The rest of us would need to hit the lottery to be so “unlucky”.

  14. If it’s true that the Jets can’t sign Fitzgerald till they clear cap by trading Wilkerson for cap reasons, the current blog chatter about a Bears trade for Mo still being alive makes sense.

    By my math the Rolle and Slauson cuts clear 4.5 to 5 mil of cap which would go a long way toward making a deal like that happen.

  15. golions–cutting one of your best linemen and leaving your team with a 2nd year LT (prob below average), a rookie LG and a 2nd year C, is not “best for the Bears” — it might be pretty good for the right side of the Lions defensive line though . . .

  16. conormacleod-

    A mid round draft pick who lasts 3 years in the league, and who you think is unimaginably rich, probably earns less than 2 million dollars. After being taxed lets say around 36 percent (about the rate I get taxed, making far less than an NFL player, but a tax rate a bit higher than Mitt Romney’s 12%)
    that leaves a whopping 1.28 million, and probably a body that is broken down and needing multiple surgeries over the rest of your life, for which you will undoubtedly be paying a decent copay, even with good insurance.

    So, lets say you are “retired” and cut by the NFL at age 25, your 1.28 million breaks down to about $32,000 per year over the next 40 years until you reach the old age of retirement of 65.

    That’s your incredible “lifetime of earnings” and what you consider hitting the lottery, with a very serious risk of early dementia and CTE.

    The owners make billions from the game, care nothing about you personally other than your wallet, often are grossly incompetent and were born into their money, and guys like you somehow take their side over players who put their bodies on the line and are often from poor backgrounds.

  17. There must be a move Pace is trying to make. I understand Rolle but Slauson by far has some left in the tank. Ramirez graded out last year as 4th best C in league I think something like that so he should beat out Hroniss in fact Larsen probably can beat him out too. The cookie is solid but once again he’s a rookie. Slauson and Ramirez same age so it’s not about that…smh…I know Long is somewhere smh too….Wilkerson probably?

  18. You can’t release some players until you have replacements picked in draft or off FA……….Team has to come before respecting a player and releasing them before you have the bird in the hand.

  19. ….if they still have skills one of the remaining 31 teams will snatch them up!…if their still unemployeed come August, their career expiration was truly up………

  20. The more Florio posts, the more he sounds like he angling to be the next president of the NFLPA. Seriously.

  21. 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.

    Whaaaa, sniff, sniff. Hopefully all the draft picks aren’t sensitive snowflakes as well.

  22. Not athletic enough for Magazu, the o line coach. He can’t run down the field to get ahead of RB’s like they want out of their guards. Still a good playe in another system. I wish him well.

  23. These guys aren’t making $7.25 an hour.Unemployment has a different sting to a millionaire. But it is possible that the car notes for 4 Bentleys and a $300k monthly mortgage really drains the account.

  24. Paging Mike Tannenbaum….here’s a good, but over 30 OL to add to the Offense….& why u ask ? , Mario W. on the DL is over 30 and by the front offices estimation ,can still play …. Has Miami now become the franchise to retire to? lol

  25. They could have signed with other teams before the draft, and then been cut after the draft, during training camp, or preseason. It’s a business. Old guys and fringe guys get cut. If you don’t like it, put your lawyer hat back on and go advocate for them for a living.

  26. I was really hoping my team would pick Whitehair. Then again, we will get a bit of mileage from the only O-lineman they did pick — named Beavers.

  27. Would like to see Matt Slauson come over to the Jaguars. He is what we need at center, a solid veteran presence for a year or 2.

    Beachum-Cann-Slauson-Linder-Parnell is a pretty good OL in front of Bortles.

  28. Whaley needs to get Slauson on board now, that RG spot is blank as far as I’m concerned. Provides a bit of security as well if Incognito regresses.

  29. It all comes down to a numbers game. Your only going to keep 8 guys on the final roster and Slauson, while still a very good linemen, is very limited from an athletic standpoint for what they want to do scheme-wise.

    The likely guys to make the 53 man roster (Leno, Massie, Long, Whitehair, Ramirez, Larsen, Grasu, and Fabuluje) all fit the scheme, and with the position flexibility of a lot of those guys there will be some real competition to determine the best 5 guys to start this year.

  30. After the draft concluded, Bears were at 93 roster spots. Need to be at 90, don’t know by when, but pretty sure these moves are to get the roster down, not a dump for salary space. Liked Slauson, but with the signings this offseason and now draft, Pace added a good bit to the o line. Unfortunately someone had to go.

  31. Drafted by Tannenbaum to the Jets, coached by Gase in Chicago. Dolphins make sense and if they add him the Dolphins went from one of the worst OLs to one of the best by the grace of a gasmask and questionable cut.

  32. There is something else going on here. Brad Biggs broke this story a month ago, injury, contract demand, other trade in the works. None of the beat reporters in Chicago have a clue either.

  33. wrong… 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.

    he wouldn’t have cut them had they not drafted depth at that position in order to find a replacement. there were no vets on the mkt worth it.

    as a side note, i hate the move of letting slaussen go. him and long are the only proven players up front.

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