The Chicago Bears thinned out their glut of veteran corners.
The team announced it waived Tracy Porter on Monday. The move saves the Bears $3.6 million against the salary cap.
Porter spent the past two seasons in Chicago but made it through just one year of a three-year, $12 million contract signed last offseason.
The 30-year-old veteran played in 30 of 32 games over the past two seasons, but dealt with knee injuries last season that contributed to his up-and-down campaign. In 2016, Porter compiled 48 tackles, nine passes defended and two interceptions.
This offseason, Bears general manager Ryan Pace added depth to the corner position — a big weakness on a poor defense last season. Chicago added Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper to take over starter roles, while also signing veteran B.W. Webb. With 2014 first-round pick Kyle Fuller missing all last season with a knee injury, Pace took a ‘toss numbers at the problem and see what sticks’ approach to the corner position in 2017.
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After the release of Porter, the Bears corner crew consists of Amukamara, Cooper, Fuller, Webb, Bryce Callahan, Deiondre’ Hall, Sherrick McManis, Cre’von LeBlanc, De’Vante Bausby, Johnthan Banks, Jacoby Glenn and Rashaad Reynolds.
Kizer worked out Thursday at Halas Hall at the Bears’ workout designated for local draft prospects, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Each NFL club can conduct a workout for draft prospects who are from or attended college in its city, although a new provision has allowed NFL clubs to expand the definition of “local.” Now, teams can designate three colleges outside their immediate area to qualify for the workout, and the Bears chose Notre Dame, Illinois and Northern Illinois, per the report.
That allowed Kizer to add the Bears to a growing list of clubs for whom he’s worked out that includes the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Chargers.
Kizer is one of the most promising quarterback prospects in the upcoming draft (April 27-29 in Philadelphia), although his inexperience as an early draft entry with two seasons of starting experience in college is among the scouting concerns about him. Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky, Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes and Cal’s Davis Webb are the primary quarterbacks with whom Kizer is contending for draft position. Beyond Kizer’s inexperience, at least one AFC head coach sees potential attitude issues with him as well, saying Kizer has “diva qualities”.
“I feel great,” McPhee said, via ESPN.com. “I look more sexier; you know what I’m saying? So, it’s definitely a blessing, and I can’t wait until the season starts.
“It was really important (to lose some weight). Usually when I’d get out of bed, it would take me a good second to starting walking. But I can get up and run right now. So, it’s a blessing coming from where I was to now.”
McPhee lost the weight with a tried and true method: Not eating late.
“I lost 15 pounds going into training camp (last year), and I’ve lost another 10 pounds since,” McPhee said. “Don’t eat after 7 o’clock at night. Just pound yourself with water. That’s the only way I did it.”
The not-eating-late technique is nothing new. Even Oprah preaches not eating after 7:30 p.m., “not even a grape.”
McPhee said his shoulder issue, which necessitated surgery last month, is fine and he expects to have a dominant 2017 campaign.
“Dangerous, it’s going to be dangerous, because obviously last year wasn’t a great year, and the year before wasn’t one,” McPhee said. “Hopefully by me losing weight and staying focused, we can turn this thing around.”
McPhee compiled four sacks in limited snaps last season, displaying the speed off the edge the Bears need. If the outside linebacker can stay healthy and Leonard Floyd makes the leap in Year 2, Chicago will boast a sneaky good pass rush crew. The rest of the defense, however, remains suspect heading into the draft.