Bears Waive Fifth-Round Pick

LAKE FOREST - It's hard to cut a draft pick, but that's what the Bears had to Monday when they waived DE Claude Harriott, who was the 147th overall choice last April.

Harriott had projected as a second-round pick heading into his senior season at Pittsburgh, but an ankle sprain resulted in a 2-sack campaign. The Bears were hoping to get the junior version of Harriott that produced 9.5 sacks.

At the time the Bears only had three defensive ends on the roster, in Alex Brown, Michael Haynes and Joe Tafoya. Harriott has 4.7 speed and seemed to be a good fit for Lovie Smith's penetration style defense.

"You've a got a fifth-round pick that makes your team and his specialty is rushing the passer," Bears director of College Scouting Greg Gabriel said at the time of the selection. "He's another guy that's athletic and can run."

The Bears trade for Adewale Ogunleye shook up the defensive end rotation and took one spot out of the equation.

The development of Alain Kashama and Israel Idonije made Harriott expendable.

The other notable cut was Tron LaFavor. A fifth-round selection a year ago, he appeared in just four games as a rookie.

At 6-foot-2, 290 pounds he looked to be a better fit in Lovie Smith's defense than in the previous scheme. However the back-to-back selections of Tommie Harris and Terry Johnson put the rest of the defensive tackles on the bubble.

Others waived were T Sam Aiello, TE Mark Anelli, QB Ryan Dinwiddie, C A.J. Ricker and DB Virgil Williams.

The Bears roster currently stands at 76 players, including 10 NFL Europe exemptions. The 53-man roster is due on Sunday and some tough choices are ahead.

"A lot will come down to this last game on what we do here," Smith said.

The Bears also acquired linebacker Shurron Pierson in a trade with the Oakland Raiders for a conditional draft pick in 2005. The trade is contingent on Pierson passing his physical.

The team also placed tackle Rob Droege on injured reserve due to a knee injury suffered in last week's game against New Orleans.

Tight Battle: Desmond Clark and John Gilmore both practiced for a second straight day after missing about a month with hamstring injuries. The Bears suddenly have four healthy tight ends. The plan is to feed the ball to Clark and Co. throughout the season, which is going to make for a tough decision when it comes to trimming down.

"We need at least two that we really consider starters for us, and three at the bare minimum and then maybe even four, so we have some tough decisions to make," Smith said. "Gabe Reid has made it real hard with the type of play that he's had."

Volunteers Needed: David Terrell has never returned kickoffs, but that won't stop the Bears giving him a look as part of their search to replace Jerry Azumah.

"David said he's versatile, so we're giving him another chance to show some of his talents," Smith said. "We're just trying to cover all bases and make sure we don't have someone that could do something great around here that we haven't tried."

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