He was once a top-tier free agent, landed by the Bears in 2011, but a steady decline over the past couple of seasons brought about the Bears releasing punter Adam Podlesh on Wednesday.
Podlesh was signed away from the Jacksonville Jaguars with a five-year deal in 2011 and he responded with the highest gross average of his career: 43.9, with a career-best 40.4-yard net. But he slipped to 42 yards in 2012, followed by just 40.6 last season and a net of 37.9 that left him ranked 15th in the NFC and 29th in the NFL.
The Bears signed Drew Butler, son of former Bears kicker Kevin, Dec. 31 and are expected to bring in at least one other leg for serious competition in training camp and preseason. Butler made the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 2012 and punted 77 times for a 43.8-yard average but was cut at the end of preseason in 2013 and was not in the NFL last year.