Chicago Sun-Times

Projecting the 53-man roster for the Chicago Bears, Part III

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Choosing the 53-man roster is not an exact science.

Figuring out the practice squad, well, that is a pure guessing game. But that won't stop me from giving it a shot here. Final cuts are due to the league office by 5 p.m. on Saturday. Clubs can begin assembling an eight-man practice squad at 11 a.m. Sunday. Teams will let players now when they are waiving them that they would like to make them a priority to add to their practice squad.

Bears general manager Jerry Angelo has a history of identifying about four or five players he wants to keep the entire season, or most of the season on the practice squad. He uses the other three or four spots in a revolving manner, bringing in players for a look that might last a week to a month. Then, he filters them out and brings in new players. It allows the Bears to look at more than a dozen players over the course of the season.

Typically, he will keep two offensive linemen, at least one defensive lineman, a linebacker, a tight end and a fullback. The Bears are also expected to place a quarterback on the practice squad this season. They generally fill about five slots from within and then go out and sign players they liked heading into the draft who are cut loose elsewhere.

Here is a look at possible practice squad candidates from the current roster:

Quarterback--Brett Basanez
Fullback--Will Ta'ufo'ou
Offensive line--Cody Balogh, Lance Louis, Johan Asiata, Donovan Raiola
Wide receiver--Eric Peterman
Defensive line--Ervin Baldwin, Matt Toeaina
Linebacker--Kevin Malast, Marcus Freeman
Cornerback--Woodny Turenne

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I'm going to guess that the squad will unfold like this, but depending on today's preseason game gainst the Browns, it may be subject to change:

QB- Basanez, FB- Ta'ufo'ou, CB- Turenne, LB- Malast/Freeman/Roach? (depends on Cleveland game & if they can clear waivers), TE- Gaines (may not clear waivers), DL- Baldwin, OL- Balogh/Louis, WR- Rideau (let's face it, he'll get picked up by another team), so Burgess/ Peterman will get the spot or Da Bears will go without a receiver. Finally, the last spot will belong to a projected runner-up like Balogh/Roach (if his concussions are as serious a omen as I think they are)or a free agent castoff from another team.

dauperfan88 - A couple of the players you list aren't elligable for the practice squad. Gaines for sure wouldn't be. I don't think Roach would be. I'm not sure if Rideau would be elligable this year for the practice squad either.

The bad news is that I think all those players are potentially good NFL players who maybe should have made the roster of 53.

The good news is that I think that all those players are good players who probably won't make the roster of 53 for the Bears because they had a better players ahead of them.

In other words if a team has to risk losing players they like by exposing them on the practice squad, it is a fundametally good thing.

ur right Le Roy Bob - Roach is questionable, but i don't want his 2 (two!!) concussions to affect his play, i say it's better to let him recover 1st (put Malast or Freeman in). McClover will make the squad if Melton gets placed on the IR for that ankle (like Okwo & Bazuin in '08). Rideau after so many offseasons just can't make this team. D.A. i think, is a better version of him (speed/"moves"-wise), so why keep a BIG target, who can't compare to the competition. Although, i do feel 4 the guy and his family ('specially his father who has been an anchor for Brandon). Iglesias hasn't earned his spot (Rideau has), but draft status is on Iglesias' side (his skill set is also desirable, tho' it hasn't bloomed in the pros).

You know if the season starts and Crabtree is still not signed by San Fran, the Bears may want to consider putting a package for him together. If he is not signed by the start of the season, his value will drop more and more every week.

He would need a lot of work but by next season Cutler would have his starting number 1 WR.

Some say he will sign by Labor day but this is almost a joke out there.

I will be interested to see how many OL make the practice squad. Louis, Asiata, and Balogh make sense. Considering the offensive line situation, we could potentially be replacing 3 guys next year. Pace, Kreutz, and Garza. We have Beekman and Buenning on the roster, and Williams would in all likeliood move to the left, installing Shaffer as the RT. But that kills our depth chart, so we will need reinforcements.

Gaines and Roach cannot be eligible, but I think Rideau can still get in under the rules.

I am assuming Biggs is not including him because he is at the tail end of his eligibility, and has not made the team yet.

Rules for the PS for reference:

This is courtesy of a site called Miguel's Frequently Asked Questions:

After noon EST on September 2nd, each club may establish a Practice Squad of no more than eight (8) players who are free agents.The practice squad shall consist of the following players, provided that they have not served more than two previous seasons on a Practice Squad: (i) players who do not have an Accrued Season of NFL experience; and (ii) free agent players who were on the Active List for fewer than nine regular season games during their only Accrued Season(s). An otherwise eligible player may be a practice squad player for a third season only if the Club by which he is employed that season has at least 53 players on its Active/Inactive List during the entire period of his employment. A player shall be deemed to have served on a Practice Squad in a season if he has passed the club’s physical and been a member of the club’s Practice Squad for at least three regular season or postseason games during his first two Practice Squad seasons, and for at least one regular season or postseason game during his third Practice Squad season. (A bye week counts as a game provided that the player is not terminated until after the regular season or postseason weekend in question.) and who did not dress for more than eight (8) regular season games during their only accrued (i.e., on the 53 man roster for at least 6 games) season. Minimum salary for a practice squad player shall be $4,700 per week for the 2006-07 League Years, $5,200 per week for the 2008-10 League Years and the 2011 League Year if it is an Uncapped Year, and $5,700 per week for the 2011 League Year if it is a Capped Year and the 2012 League Year, including postseason weeks in which his Club is in the playoffs. Aigher salary can be negotiated. In addition, a player under contract to a club as a Practice Squad player is completely free to sign a contract with another NFL club during the season in order to be on the second club's Active/Inactive (i.e., 53 man) list. A practice squad player may not sign an NFL Player Contract with his Club’s next opponent later than 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the sixth day preceding the game (except in bye weeks, when the prohibition commences on the tenth day preceding the game).If another club signs a Practice Squad player to its 53 man roster it does not have to provide any sort of compensation to the player's former club but it generally must keep the player on the 53 man roster for at least 3 weeks, thereby mandating that he earns in 2007 the minimum first year salary for said 3 week period ($285,000 prorated weekly). Also note that a team can add and release players from the practice squad as often as it desires and the eight (8) man limit does not have to be maintained. A player may be on the practice squad for two seasons; three weeks on the practice squad count as a season. An otherwise eligible player may be a practice squad player for a third season only if the Club by which he is employed that season has at least 53 players on its Active/Inactive List during the entire period of his employment. The League may elect to allow some or all Clubs to add to their practice squads one additional player, who shall not count against the limit above, whose citizenship and principal place of residence are outside the United States and its Territories (“International Player”). The League’s election in any one season shall not determine or affect its election in any subsequent season


Brad; You sure have Toeaina covered. You have him on the roster and the practice squad.

Turenne, Freeman (and the curse of the rookie blog continues), Malast and Basanez are all good candidates for PS. But we shouldn't be so quick to put out two cents in until tomorrow. Injuries have a way of showing their ugly heads during the last preseason game.

So that will allow you the opportunity for Part IV tomorrow...

Great job.

Well ... I think it's safe to say Knox will be on the roster this season ... I know this is against backups and all but who ya think plays special teams?!? Wow, that kid is fast and got some nice field vision too.

Anonymous, I would also love to see Michael Crabtree wearing the good ol blue & orange, unfortunately, its not gonna happen. Chicago simply doesn't have enough ammunition for a package to bring in Crabtree. It would take, at the very least, a first rounder [which Chicago doesn't have] and probably a 2nd rounder for Chicago to snag Crabtree from the 49ers. Crabtree's all about the money. The word is he's gonna hold out and re-enter the draft next april. And that my friend, is why Michael Crabtree is just the latest example of why the NFL needs a rookie salary cap. I actually hope Crabtree does hold out all season, especially with the league and its players currently under negotiation for a new contract. This could maybe motivate the league to push for a rookie salary cap. I doubt many of the leagues veterans would be against one either, especially with a lot of rookies coming straight out of college making twice what some proven vets are making. Here, I'll put it in perspective for you, our own Jay Cutler is making less than Detroits rookie Matthew Stafford, are you kidding me?? An NFL player should get his payday on his second contract, when he's proved himself. Not just because he happened to be the highest rated prospect of a given draft. There is no way in hell an unproven rookie [Stafford] should be making more money than a proven vet like Cutler, who has a pro-bowl on his resume. Oh well GO BEARS!!

You are right about Crabtree Kevin. I hope the Bears don't give up anything important to get a guy like that.

He must have the Wonderlick score of a chimp if he really does sit out a year. That puts him on the list with people like Mike Williams and Maurice Clarett. Is there anything about that category that you think will pry more dollars out of an NFL team?

Who is his agent, Bernie Ebbers? Sitting out will cost him many millions of dollars and make it a lot harder to succeed when he does play. Any competent agent would be able to tell him that.

And yes, I know they sat out for a different reason. The point is that, if he is that dumb, I don't want him on the Bears.

Crabtree? You guys are crazy! I hope that guy never plays a down in the NFL. He is the biggest idiot in football!

Crabtree might know he has a chronic foot problem. Maybe he knows it's not right. Does anyone know for sure he can still run? Maybe San Fran should be shopping him.

Crabpuffs is the biggest dumba$$ and new primadonna in the NFL. I hope Singultary sends his a@@ packing. They offered him a great offer and he still turned it down. What a douche bag? Please sit the year out so you can get drafted even farther down. No way do we want this type of player on the Bears. I have been a coach for 9 years and players like this never change. I hope his career BLOWS.


Brad: If the Jones injury is as serious as I have seen at least one writer put it, that obviously locks in a spot for Adrian Peterson. But with Peteson now asked to take more offensive responsibilities, does that perhaps mean Rashied Davis becomes too valuable for ST coach Toub?

Now, if Jones goes on IR, could this perhaps mean the Bears only take 4 RBs (Forte, McKie, Wolfe and Peterson) and suddenly, the team can now keep, dare I say, a seventh WR, knowing Davis will assume more responsibility on special teams, leaving Aromashodu and Rideau in Cutler's corner???

someone asked me what i thought of Cutler this year. And I said, are you kidding me? It's not about this year. We have a 25 year old QB who has destiny written all over him. So, it's not about this year, it's about the next 10 years. Sweetness.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on September 3, 2009 11:33 AM.

Projecting the 53-man roster for the Chicago Bears, Part II was the previous entry in this blog.

Bears inform veteran offensive lineman Dan Buenning he is cut is the next entry in this blog.

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