The Chicago Bears made 35 moves on Saturday, trimming their roster to the NFL-mandated 53 players. Here's a closer look at the final cuts:
Most significant move: Veteran outside linebacker Pernell McPhee is coming off the physically unable to perform list in time for Week 1. McPhee takes up the most salary-cap space ($7.825 million) on Chicago's defense. Because McPhee is basically a part-time player due to chronic knee troubles, the Bears still have to find a way to get a little bang for their buck -- McPhee has only 10 sacks in 23 games with the Bears. It would've looked really bad had McPhee started the year on PUP -- again. Plus, the Bears look to McPhee to provide some leadership inside the locker room. That's difficult to do when you're inactive the first six weeks of the season. Let's see what McPhee has left after resting his knees all summer.
What kicker competition?: The Bears wasted $428,000 on the Roberto Aguayo claim. The former Tampa kicker never came close to challenging last year's starter, Connor Barth, who made Chicago's initial 53-man roster. Aguayo missed the only field goal he attempted for the Bears and also struggled with his accuracy at practice -- just like he did with the Bucs. It became clear -- almost immediately -- that Aguayo's kicking issues in Tampa followed him to Chicago.
Cruzing out of town: Veteran Victor Cruz didn't show enough to beat out Kendall Wright, who had a very productive preseason, at slot receiver. Wide receiver in general is a problem area for the Bears -- especially after they lost Cameron Meredith for the year -- so it's disappointing that Cruz wasn't able to make an impact. He dropped a pair of passes in exhibition games, which no doubt hurt his cause. The Bears also waived undrafted rookie Tanner Gentry, who arguably had the best camp of any receiver on the team. Look for Gentry to resurface on Chicago's practice squad if he clears waivers. Undrafted wideout Titus Davis, also deserves a spot on some team's 53 or practice squad. The Bears kept only five receivers -- two of them special teamers (Josh Bellamy and Deonte Thompson).
Released (21): OL Mitchell Kirsch, TE MyCole Pruitt, CB Rashaad Reynolds, FB Freddie Stevenson, QB Connor Shaw (injured), OL Will Poehls, K Roberto Aguayo, OL Cyril Richardson, S Harold Jones-Quartey, DL Rashaad Coward, WR Tanner Gentry, S DeAndre Houston-Carson, OL Dieugot Joseph, ILB Jonathan Anderson, OL Brandon Greene, RB Josh Rounds, WR Alton Howard, LB Isaiah Irving, WR Titus Davis, WR Daniel Braverman, LB John Timu.
Activated (1): OLB Pernell McPhee