On the Chopping Block

With the June 1st cut date quickly approaching, the Bears are in no hurry to clean house. Still, some veterans should be worried as the end of the month approaches.

1. DL Michael Haynes – After Tank Johnson tore his calf muscle, the Bears played with the idea of making Haynes a defensive tackle. The selection of Dusty Dvoracek makes the move less necessary. There's little doubt that Haynes wants out of Chicago and the Bears may oblige.

Of the group, Haynes is the most likely to be released before training camp. There has been little to no interest on the trade market for the former first round pick.

2. OL Qasim Mitchell – The Bears sent Mitchell to NFL Europe in hopes of him getting acclimated to playing guard again. Knee and elbow injuries cut his season short after just four games. With a deep rotation on the offensive line, he could be the odd man out.

3. FB Bryan Johnson – Health issues have kept Johnson from contributing at the level the Bears envisioned when general manager Jerry Angelo traded for him in 2004. He's the starter heading into mini-camp, but the selection of J.D. Runnels is a signal the team is looking for an upgrade at the position.

If there are any signs that Johnson isn't completely over a foot injury that has bothered him the past two seasons, his tenure in Chicago could be over.

4. P Brad Maynard – A poor finish to the season definitely stuck with the coaching staff. In Bourbonnais, Maynard will face his biggest challenge since coming to Chicago. Joel Stelly has a strong leg, but consistency will be the determining factor on whether or not he can beat out Maynard, who has a high salary cap figure.

5. TE Desmond Clark – If the Bears had used a draft pick on the position, Clark would be in real jeopardy of being gone. However, undrafted free agents Tim Day and Cooper Wallace will more likely push John Gilmore and Gabe Reid for roster spots. It's not that Clark deserves job security, it's more of a reflection on the lack of talent at the position.

Long Shot
G Ruben Brown – There's little chance the Bears will want to mess with the chemistry that has been built on the offensive line. At 34, Brown is in a contract year and entering his 12th season in the league. The Bears are unlikely to give Brown an extension, so Terrence Metcalf were to beat out Brown for the starting job at right guard it could create a problem to send an eight-time Pro Bowler to the sideline.


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