The biggest name to clean out his locker is Michael Haynes, the 14th overall selection in the 2003 NFL Draft. After a preseason full of trade speculation, position changes, and a nagging back injury, the former Nittany Lion has seen his last day in a Bears uniform. It's hard to judge Haynes's career to date as anything more than a disappointment. The team asked him to put on some weight after last season and move from defensive end to defensive tackle in an effort to find a role for him, but he just never fit well with head coach Lovie Smith's system. The breakout performance of Antonio Garay during training camp made Haynes even more expendable.
Other players released on Saturday were fullback Keith Belton, defensive end Jamaal Green, offensive tackle Mark LeVoir, tailback P.J. Pope, offensive guard Tyler Reed, punter Joel Stelly, linebacker Rod Wilson, and tight end Cooper Wallace. The Bears also terminated the contract of free agent signee wide receiver Alex Bannister, who battled a groin injury since the day he arrived in Bourbonnais.
On Sunday, the Bears brought back five players who cleared waivers and named them to the practice squad: Green, LeVoir, Pope, Reed, and Wilson. The team currently has three of the eight allowed practice squad spots still available.