By: Will Farlow
This afternoon the Chicago Bears made an alteration to their roster, but this was a set of two subtractions. The Chicago Bears released wide receiver Taylor Gabriel and cornerback Prince Amukamara making both players free agents.
The Bears were set at about only 13 million dollars in cap space, and the subtractions of Amukamara and Gabriel extend their cap room to about 26 million. The Bears have needs of depth at their offensive line, linebacker, and especially at the quarterback position. GM Ryan Pace over his tenure with the Bears thus far has made creative moves to bring the team back to success. However, as the offseason come and passed each year, free agents at specific positions become expensive leaving the Bears to compete with other teams with more cap space.
Taylor Gabriel previously signed a four year 26-million-dollar contract with the Bears back in 2017 to add support to the receiving core of young starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. The 29-year-old receiver in two seasons with the Bears amassed a total of 96 receptions,1041 yards, and 6 touchdowns. Gabriel had effectiveness for the Bears in the slot receiver role, but his injury problems and consistency led to his release. Gabriel faced injuries during the 2019 season that hindered his effectiveness in the Matt Nagy style offense. Gabriel’s departure leaves the Bears with a receiving core of Robinson, Miller, Ridley, Wims, and veteran Cordarrelle Patterson.
Gabriel took to Twitter after the news broke of his release thanking the Bears and fan support during his time in Chicago. Gabriel excited fans when he first signed with Chicago and said he was excited for what quarterback Mitch Trubisky could do.
Prince Amukamara agreed to a one year 7-million-dollar contract to join the
Chicago Bears in 2017. Amukamara found his first season as a Bear successful leading the Bears to offer him a three year 27-million-dollar extension. During his three seasons for the Monsters of the Midway the 30-year-old cornerback achieved 166 tackles, three interceptions, and two fumble recoveries as a Bear. The cornerback was a good veteran presence for the younger Bears defensive players along with making good contributions to Bears supported charities during his three seasons in Chicago. Amukamara’s departure leaves the Bears cornerback depth with Fuller, Shelley, Skrine, Roberson, Tolliver, and Denmark.
These moves by GM Ryan Pace and Chicago Bears front office leave questions as to the free agents the team will pursue to fill its team needs prior to the 2020 NFL Draft. Suring the free agent frenzy the qualities of a good team and money talk to free agents as they choose their new home for the 2020 season and beyond. The 2020 NFL league year officially begins on March 18th meaning free agents can officially sign with NFL teams. The question is which offensive lineman, quarterbacks, and other players the team will target. The Chicago Bears will need to fill those holes in free agency and the draft to bounce back toward contention in 2020 along with filling spots left by Taylor Gabriel and Prince Amukamara.