This Is What’s Left of the Bears Team Ryan Poles Inherited

To say that Ryan Poles inherited a mess when he came to Chicago is an understatement. The last Bears team under Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy was a bloated, inefficient collection of expensive players that never meshed. In just over a year, Poles has completely gutted the team he was handed and still has a way to go. Which of the 41 ex-Bears do you want back the most? I could live without any of them.

Poles is rebuilding the team through the draft and by cutting ties with overpaid, underperforming veterans. The change to the roster in just over 15 months is remarkable. Talk about your overhauls!

The Starters

  • QB Justin Fields – Current QB1 heading into his third season with the Bears. The entire football universe is expecting a breakout season, except for those who still pine for Mitchell Trubisky.
  • RB David Montgomery – Signed with the Lions in free agency after the 2022 season.
  • WR Darnell Mooney – Finished ’22 as Chicago’s WR1, but missed the last five games of the season due to injury.
  • WR Allen Robinson – Signed with the Rams in free agency after the 2021 season. Robinson will play for the Steelers this season.
  • TE Jesse James – Played two games for the Browns last season and is currently available in free agency.
  • TE Cole Kmet – The big tight end from Notre Dame had a breakout season in ’22 and sits atop Chicago’s depth chart at his position.
  • LT Jason Peters – The 41-year-old played 10 games for the Cowboys last season and has yet to announce his retirement.
  • LG Cody Whitehair – As of now, Whitehair is being moved to center where he will compete with Lucas Patrick for a starting job.
  • OC Sam Mustipher – The Bears cut Mustipher just before free agency started.
  • RG James Daniels – He started at RG for the Steelers last season and sits atop their post-draft depth chart.
  • RT Larry Borom – He’s the backup to Braxton Jones at left tackle.
  • LDE Angelo Blackson – Played 15 games for the Bears last season but is currently available in free agency.
  • NT Eddie Goldman – Signed with Atlanta, did not play last year, announced his retirement, but then un-retired to play for the Falcons.
  • RDE Bilal Nichols – Full-time starter at DT for the Raiders.
  • OLB Robert Quinn – The Bears traded Quin to the Eagles last year and he is currently a free agent.
  • ILB Alec Ogletree – Did not play last season.
  • ILB Roquan Smith – Traded to the Ravens last November and recently signed a five-year $100 million contract to stay with Baltimore.
  • OLB Khalil Mack – Traded to the Chargers last offseason, Mack made 17 starts and had 8.0 quarterback sacks.
  • CB Jaylon Johnson – Still playing for the Bears and is a big part of their secondary rotation.
  • CB Kindle Vildor – Same as Johnson, though Vildor could be on the bubble this season.
  • SS Tashaun Gipson – A full-time starter for the 49ers, Gipson had 61 tackles, five picks, and eight passes defended in 2022.
  • FS Eddie Jackson – Currently the starting free safety in Chicago.

The Reserves

  • RG Alex Bars – He is the starting right guard for the Raiders.
  • CB Artie Burns – Burns played three games for the Seahawks in 2022 and is currently unsigned.
  • DB Deon Bush – He was a backup with the Chiefs last season and will likely back up Mike Edwards this year.
  • WR Damiere Byrd – Caught 13 passes in 14 games for the Falcons in 2022 and signed with the Panthers as a backup receiver.
  • DB Marqui Christian – Did not play last year.
  • QB Andy Dalton – Dalton was the starting quarterback for 14 games for the Saints in ’22, and will battle No. 1 draft pick Bryce Young for the starting gig in Carolina this season.
  • DE Mario Edwards – Reserve pass rusher for the Titans.
  • QB Nick Foles – Started two games for the Colts last season, but could be cut after Indianapolis selected Anthony Richardson in the first round. He may follow Frank Reich to Carolina.
  • OLB Trevis Gipson – Starting defensive end for the Bears in 2022.
  • WR Marquise Goodwin – Goodwin caught 27 passes with four TDs for the Seahawks and signed a contract with the Browns this year.
  • TE Jimmy Graham – He retired after the 2021 season.
  • WR Jakeem Grant – Third on the depth chart as a slot receiver for the Browns.
  • RB Khalil Herbert – Herbert was considered the starter when 2022 ended, but the Bears have since added D’Onta Foreman, Travis Homer, and Roschon Johnson. I have a feeling Ryan Poles will cut or trade Herbert.
  • DE Akiem Hicks – The 33-year-old played 11 games for the Buccaneers last season but is currently unsigned.
  • TE Jesper Horsted – Caught three passes in 14 games for the Raiders, but currently sits at the bottom of the team’s depth chart.
  • DB DeAndre Houston-Carson – Played six games as a backup in Chicago last year but is currently unsigned.
  • RT Germain Ifedi – Ifedi is a backup tackle for the Falcons.
  • LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe – Backup linebacker for the Panthers.
  • RT Teven Jenkins – Started at right guard last season and was Chicago’s best offensive lineman. Jenkins was moved to the left side when the Bears signed Nate Davis.
  • LB Caleb Johnson – C.J. is a backup linebacker for the Jaguars and sits at the bottom of the depth chart.
  • LB Christian Jones – Jones saw action in three games for the Seahawks in ’22 but is currently unsigned.
  • DT Sam Kamara – The Stony Brook product played one game for the Browns last season but his status for this season is unknown.
  • LB Cassius Marsh – His five minutes of fame cost the Bears a win against the Steelers in 2021. Marsh went unsigned last year and is not on any roster this year.
  • WR Dazz Newsome – Newsome did not play anywhere in 2022 and currently sits at the very bottom of the depth chart in San Francisco.
  • P Pat O’Donnell – He punts for the Packers now.
  • K Cairo Santos – Santos had a rough 2022 but he will be the incumbent heading into camp.
  • LS Patrick Scales – The oldest and, I think, the longest-tenured player on the Bears. 2023 will be his eighth season with Chicago.
  • DB Duke Shelley – He was a part-time starter for the Vikings last year. Shelley will play for the Raiders this year.
  • DT Khyiris Tonga – He is a backup DT for the Vikings.
  • LB Danny Trevathan – He did not play last season after being a post-June 1 cut by the Bears. Trevathan is unsigned but has not announced his retirement.
  • RT Elijah Wilkinson – Started nine games for the Falcons last year and will play for the Cardinals this season.
  • RB Damien Williams – Carried the ball one time for two yards in Atlanta last season and is currently unsigned.
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