NFL Roster Cuts: Can Chicago Bears Dane Sanzenbacher Survive?
NFL roster cuts are robust this time of the year as teams try to trim down to the 53 man quota. The latest victim as of Wednesday night, released by the Chicago Bears, was veteran Rashied Davis. Davis was an 11-year pro, who signed a 1-year contract with the Bears in early August after Devin Thomas decided to retire out of nowhere at the age of 25.
Rashied took the news with the professionalism that he has displayed throughout his career, which started when the Bears picked him up while working part-time at Best Buy.
‘‘I’ve been blessed,’’ Davis said. ‘‘My wife and I have done well with the money we’ve made. It will allow us to make a good transition out of the football life. So for me getting cut won’t be as hard as it would be for a rookie, I guess.’’
As of right now, the Chicago Bears have four receivers that are sure bets to make the roster. Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Earl Bennett, and Devin Hester.
The Bears also gave a 3-year contract to wide receiver/special teams specialist, Eric Weems, who is almost assured a roster spot. That would leave the intriguing little guy out of Ohio State, Dane Sanzenbacher, as possibly the odd man out. However, the waiving of Davis gave Dane another day as a member of the Chicago Bears.
Most won’t believe you, but Dane Sanzenbacher actually led all Bears wide receivers with three touchdown catches in 2011. Pretty sad that three gives him the lead, but that was the reality in Chicago at the time. Things have changed however as Marshall and Jeffery have been added as legit threats for Jay Cutler, so Dane must prove he’s worth the spot by showcasing special teams skills.
‘‘Dane’s really stepped it up on special teams,’’ Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub said. ‘‘He’s better as a blocker, better as a gunner. He’s starting to show up on kickoffs — things he was still learning last year.’’
Hard to imagine the Bears keeping six wide receivers on the roster, but Sanzenbacher certainly won’t make it an easy decision for the front office. Even if Dane doesn’t make the cut, I suspect he will have a wide range of NFL teams that would be interested in his services. Thursday night is the preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns, so he must seize whatever opportunities come his way.
‘‘I feel like I’ve had a good camp,’’ Sanzenbacher said. ‘‘I don’t have any regrets about how it went down the past month. I think I’m going to get a great opportunity against the Browns and put it all on the field and … whatever happens, happens. But I feel I’ve done my job to this point.’’
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