Bears Veteran OL Among Top 3 Potential Cut Candidates After NFL Draft

Bears Cut Candidates NFL Cut Candidates Larry Borom Bears Roster Moves

Getty Bears offensive tackle and former starter Larry Borom could be on the chopping block in 2024.

The Chicago Bears are emerging from their rebuilding phase and looking like a team much more capable of contending for the NFL playoffs during the 2024 season. When it comes to constructing their 53-man roster for next season, though, there are a few veterans who could wind up on the chopping block in 2024.

The Bears will have ample opportunity to see their new and returning players in action over the next few months. They officially begin OTAs on May 20 and will have six total on-field sessions through the end of the month. They will then hold their mandatory minicamp from June 4 to 6 before breaking again until training camp in late July.

While the Bears will reserve the majority of their roster competitions for camp and the preseason, some veterans may have to take advantage of the upcoming practice period to prove to the team that they still belong in Chicago for the upcoming 2024 season.

Here are three of the top potential NFL cut candidates for the Bears in 2024:

Larry Borom, OT

Bears Cut Candidates NFL Cut Candidates Larry Borom Bears Roster Moves1

GettyBears offensive tackle Larry Borom.

Borom is the most obvious name on the list after the Bears selected Yale’s Kiran Amegadjie in the third round (No. 75 overall). He is one of just three players remaining from Ryan Pace’s final draft class for the Bears in 2021, but he has struggled to live up to expectations — both as a starter and as a backup — over the past two seasons.

According to Pro Football Focus, Borom finished as one of the lowest-graded offensive tackles in the league while playing extensive snaps at left tackle for the Bears in 2023. He received the seventh-worst overall grade (48.0) and sixth-worst pass-blocking grade (48.0) among offensive tackles who played at least 400 offensive snaps. In total, he gave up three sacks and 25 pressures over just 225 pass-blocking snaps.

Borom also played enough snaps in his first three seasons to earn a first-level proven performance escalator for the 2024 season, raising his cap hit to about $3.19 million. The Bears might have been willing to carry that before drafting Amegadjie or signing veteran Matt Pryor, but the post-draft reality is Borom has become expendable.

Best-case scenario: The Bears find a trade partner willing to invest in his experience.

Salary-cap savings if cut: $3,116,000

Velus Jones Jr., WR

Bears Cut Candidates NFL Cut Candidates Larry Borom Bears Roster Moves2

GettyBears wide receiver and kick returner Velus Jones Jr.

Jones is hands-down the most controversial draft pick of Ryan Poles’ three-year tenure as Chicago’s general manager. Once billed as a dual-threat offensive weapon who could attack downfield with speed and take carries out of the backfield, Jones has contributed virtually nothing to the Bears offense over his first two seasons. To date, he has just 11 career catches for 127 yards, 17 carries for 154 yards and two touchdowns in 26 games.

Additionally, Jones has whiffed on some of his opportunities to be the Bears’ primary return specialist. He lost the privilege to return punts for the team midway through his rookie season in 2022 due to his persistent issue with fumbling. As for kick returns, he touts a strong career average of 27.4 yards per return, but he lacked explosive returns in 2023 and likely cannot count on that role to preserve his roster spot in 2024.

Perhaps the Bears are willing to give Jones one more chance to earn his keep in training camp. They do still have depth needs behind their sparkling new wide receiver trio of DJ Moore, Keenan Allen and first-round rookie Rome Odunze. If he cannot show the necessary growth, though, Jones could be looking for a new job come September.

Salary-cap savings if cut: $1,196,448 in 2024 and $1,442,172 in 2025

Travis Homer, RB

Bears Cut Candidates NFL Cut Candidates Larry Borom Bears Roster Moves3

GettyBears running back Travis Homer, left.

Khalil Herbert was considered for the third and final spot on this list after the team signed veteran D’Andre Swift to a three-year, $24 million contract in free agency. Herbert is a better talent than Homer, though, and would actually create less cap savings (about $1.05 million) for the Bears, so Homer seems more likely to be cut.

The Bears signed Homer to a two-year, $4 million contract in 2023 and used him primarily as a special teams ace, but it is debatable whether he made a strong enough impact to justify the cost. He notched seven special teams tackles in 16 games but also missed a tackle and finished with a career-worst PFF grade (63.3) in the third phase.

The Bears also did not seem to trust Homer out of their backfield even when injuries left them shorthanded. He played just six total offensive snaps and did not have a single carry. The Bears targeted him once in the passing game, but he did not catch it.

If Chicago is intent on rolling with a four-man backfield again in 2024, Homer could keep his job on the virtue of special teams. Then again, the Bears might be able to find a more potent option than him for less money, potentially among the undrafted rookies.

Salary-cap savings if cut: $1,885,294

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