8 players the Bears recently cut should consider adding

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Initial rosters are now set across the NFL after a flurry of activity on Tuesday. Teams had to cut their rosters from 80 players to 53 by the 3 p.m. CT deadline.

The Chicago Bears and general manager Ryan Poles made some tough decisions, but they have their starting roster as they look ahead to Week 1. But things can change in the NFL on occasion, and it’s fair to say the Bears probably aren’t done with their team.

837 other players have recently retired or been released by their respective teams over the past few days, meaning there is now plenty of talent that wasn’t there before. It is very likely that the Poles and the Bears will be looking for some players to upgrade the squad.

Here are eight recently waived or released players the Bears would be wise to consider, in no particular order.

CB Justin Coleman

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The Bears appear to have a hole at their nickel cornerback position. The two players poised to battle for the starting spot when camp began, Thomas Graham Jr. and Tavon Young, were released Tuesday. Although rookie Kyler Gordon has the flexibility to move inside, they should consider Justin Coleman who was recently cut by the Seattle Seahawks.

Coleman is entering his eighth season in the league and was the favorite to win the nickel spot in Seattle before being released. He is coming off a solid season with the Miami Dolphins in 2021 and would be a great pick to plug the Bears defense. Seattle reportedly wants to bring him back, but maybe the Bears will approach him first.

T Caleb Jones

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Caleb Jones is a huge tackle who was waived by the Green Bay Packers as part of the cuts. He’s 6-foot-9 and was one of the best linemen in the preseason for opponents in the north as an undrafted free agent out of Indiana. Jones is considered a project, but he has potential and could be a developmental piece for the Bears.

Getting someone like Jones is a risk to where the Bears stand on their offensive line. They are starting two relatively unproven tackles and may not have the luxury of adding an even more raw player to the roster. However, with the right training, it could be worth the risk.

TE Jace Sternberger

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Jace Sternberger might not be the tight end you focus on during roster cuts, but he would be an interesting pick. Most fans have their eyes on former first round pick OJ Howard after he left the Buffalo Bills. Howard had more success in the league, but has faltered in recent seasons.

Sternberger, meanwhile, is familiar with the Bears and Luke Getsy’s system after spending his first few seasons with the Packers. He signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason, but didn’t catch on. Sternberger hasn’t reached his potential yet, but he would be a good TE3 on a team that only has two players at the position.

WR Preston Williams

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Between two recently decommissioned receivers with upside in Tyler Johnson and Preston Williams, I’m looking at the latter if I’m the Bears. Johnson is a good player, but he is slower and will likely benefit more in the run-blocking game. The Bears already have several receivers who excel in that department.

That leaves us with Williams, who showed plenty of potential for the Miami Dolphins before an ACL tear halted his development. Since then, he has struggled to reach those heights, but has been a popular player of late with trade talks heating up. Teams still believe in his ability, and the Bears should be one of them. They will already be looking for another receiver with N’Keal Harry likely injured. Why not look for an upside playmaker like Williams?

OL Alex Leatherwood

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Would the Bears placing a waiver claim on former Las Vegas Raiders tackle Alex Leatherwood be a big mistake considering he’s still owed millions on his rookie deal? But signing him outright as a free agent wouldn’t be the worst move. Leatherwood was the Raiders’ first-round pick in 2021 and quickly fell out of favor with the new regime. He struggled as a tackle and could benefit from Teven Jenkins’ treatment with a move inside to guard.

As with Jones, the Bears may not be in the most favorable position to take on a rebuilding project like Leatherwood right now, but it could be a low-risk move that pays off big.

C Alec Lindstrom

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Bears coach Matt Eberflus met with the media on Tuesday and indicated that inside linebacker Lucas Patrick could play guard when he returns from his thumb injury instead of center. With rookie Doug Kramer already out for the season, that means the center position may be more open than first thought. If that’s the case, the Bears might be wise to consider center Alec Lindstrom from the Dallas Cowboys.

Lindstrom resigned after being signed as a free agent by Boston College. He could be someone worth developing under offensive line coach Chris Morgan and would provide depth behind Sam Mastifer to start the season.

S Anthony Harris

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There are already five safeties on their roster, but maybe they’ll move someone like rookie Elijah Hicks to the practice squad for an Anthony Harris-like player. Harris was released by the Philadelphia Eagles and is entering his eighth season in the league. He posted an opposing grade of 68.7 in pass coverage in 2021 and can still be an effective defender.

The Bears are atop the safety position with Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker. But if Brisker is looking to be sidelined longer than expected with his thumb injury, Harris would be a good player to add.

DL Armon Watts

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Outside of cornerback, the Bears are arguably the weakest at their position on the defensive line. One player who can fill a void almost immediately is former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Armon Watts. The veteran, entering his fourth season, is coming off a career year. He had 46 total tackles, five sacks and is only 26 years old.

If he’s as effective as he was in 2021, Watts could even push the likes of Khyiris Tonga and Angelo Blackson down the line. He would be a great asset down the line.

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This story originally appeared on Bears Wire

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