Bears’ Roster Moves: Team Waives Play-Making Cornerback

Chicago Bears Tre Roberson

Getty Bears HC Matt Nagy

The Bears have parted ways with cornerback Tre Roberson, per The Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain. Roberson suffered a non-football injury while training, which was the primary reason for his release, per the NFL’s transaction report. Thus, the team waived him in a move that came as a slight surprise.

Roberson, who was the CFL’s most sought-after free agent this offseason, was thought by many to have a decent shot at making the roster — many analysts even thought he could compete for the starting corner slot against rookie Jaylon Johnson, new acquisition Artie Burns and returning veteran Kevin Toliver. Instead, he’ll likely catch on somewhere else, as NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported after the Bears originally signed him that nine teams other than Chicago had expressed interest in the former CFL standout.

GM Ryan Pace revealed to the media that Roberson broke his foot while training this offseason.

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Roberson Would Have Made Battle for Corner Interesting

Tre Roberson signs with the Chicago Bears

GettyFormer Calgary Stampeders cornerback Tre Roberson was just waived by the Chicago Bears. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)

Roberson was signed by the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2016. He was released by Minnesota after a promising preseason that year before finding success in Canada in 2018, signing with the Calgary Stampeders. In his 32 games with the Stampeders, he had 95 tackles, 10 interceptions, two touchdowns and two forced fumbles, establishing himself as a ball hawk and a play-maker.

His exit now takes a bit of mystery out of the team’s current cornerback battle, with rookie Jaylon Johnson the likely favorite to start. It will now be a three-man show between Johnson, Burns and Toliver, but Johnson has made it no secret he plans to do everything in his power to win the starting job.

Bears’ Current Roster Now at 83 Players

Chicago Bears rookie CB Jaylon Johnson

GettyChicago Bears rookie CB Jaylon Johnson was selected by the Bears in the second round this year. He’s now the favorite to get the nod at corner opposite All-Pro Kyle Fuller.

The Bears need to whittle their roster down to 80 players by the NFL’s August 16 deadline. They are currently carrying 83 players, with more cuts at tight end and on defense likely coming soon.

Chicago originally signed Roberson to a two-year contract that included a $75K signing bonus, a $50K bonus if he was on the roster Week 1 in 2020, along with a $25K workout bonus each of the two seasons. Had he made the roster, he would have made $550,000 this season and $610,000 next year.

Chicago signing him to a two-year deal initially is largely what makes his release a bit of a surprise. Roberson was one of the best — if not the absolute best — defensive backs in the CFL during his tenure there, and at the very least, it was expected he could provide the team with some nice depth in the secondary. Now, it looks as if Burns and Toliver will be providing that depth.

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