Nobody can ever say the Chicago Bears don’t find ways to keep surprising their fans. As roster cuts reach their final stretch, the team decided to throw a curveball by waiving not one but two of their 2021 draft picks. The first was 6th round cornerback Thomas Graham Jr. Not a huge surprise given how poorly the secondary played in the preseason. The much bigger shock was fellow 6th rounder Dazz Newsome.
There was a lot to like about the North Carolina product. He was quick with above-average speed and strong hands. He also brought solid punt returner skills. So what happened? Unfortunately, a broken collarbone derailed his progress before training camp even began. When he finally returned, his name didn’t come up much in practices or preseason games. As a result, it seems the coaches were content to look elsewhere for help.
The #Bears are waiving rookie WR Dazz Newsome, per source. The sixth-round pick from North Carolina is wanted back on the practice squad, but he'd have to clear waivers first.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 31, 2021
As stated, the Bears still have plans for Newsome.
It just seems like they feel he isn’t ready yet. Maybe he’s not 100% healthy or they don’t like where his route running is. Either way, this is an interesting development for two reasons. It means recently un-retired veteran Rodney Adams has likely cracked the roster. Well-earned after his strong preseason showing. It also means the Bears might go hunting for receiver help outside their own bubble.
Several other receivers are already gone. Jon’Vea Johnson, Riley Ridley, Chris Lacy, and Isaiah Coulter. There isn’t anybody left. This means the Bears currently have five receivers locked for the main roster. That leads one to think they may find their sixth from somewhere else. Who could that be? Nobody can know for sure.
Chicago Bears face an uncertain future at wide receiver
With Newsome’s exit, they now have just one player at that position under contract beyond 2021. That is Darnell Mooney. Allen Robinson, Marquise Goodwin, and Damiere Byrd are all working on one-year deals. This is a puzzling approach for GM Ryan Pace. Especially with the goal of trying to build around the Bears’ new quarterback in Justin Fields. He can’t become a success without viable weapons.
This is not to say Newsome is a lost cause. Several future successes at wide receiver started their careers on the practice squad. For the rookie, it comes down to staying healthy and honing his craft. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he gets called up to the main roster at some point once the coaches are satisfied with his progress. It will be interesting to see if the Chicago Bears find a veteran replacement or if they simply roll with five receivers and load up at another position.
More information will be known in the next 24 hours.
Final cuts conclude at 3 p.m. Central Standard Time. Then it becomes a wait to see if the Bears put in any claims on the waiver wire. Given the needs they have, it wouldn’t be a surprise. Not just at wide receiver but cornerback as well. The problem is other teams with waiver priority ahead of them have the same problems. So they’ll need some good luck.