Adrian Wilson, with an NFL resume that included five Pro Bowls, said at the outset of training camp that he didn’t feel as though he needed to prove anything. In the end he needed to, and at least to the Bears, didn’t.
Wilson, turning 35 this year, was among the early roster trims by the Bears in advance of the mandated cutdown to 75 players on Tuesday. The Bears also terminated the contracts of defensive tackle and guard Dylan Gandy in addition to releasing running back Michael Ford, receivers Greg Herd and Kofi Hughes, tackle Joe Long and cornerbacks Derricus Purdy and Peyton Thompson. An additional six roster cuts need to be made by 3 p.m. Tuesday, with the possibility of others in order to make room for a pickup from among other teams’ cuts.
Wilson worked extensively in rotations at safety and saw additional time on Friday against Seattle. But he did not establish himself as a starter and offered little on special teams, a major requirement of non-starters. Ryan Mundy went out with a head laceration against the Seahawks, giving Wilson playing time against the Seattle starters. Not many Bears starters delivered impact plays, for that matter, but Wilson needed to.
The Collins release underscores the commitment the Bears made to what effectively is their pipeline behind Stephen Paea and Jeremiah Ratliff. Collins had started games both at nose tackle and three-technique but the organization committed a second-round pick to Ego Ferguson behind Paea at nose, and a third-rounder to Will Sutton as Ratliff’s understudy, and both made significant progress from the start of offseason camps through the preseason games.
Ford had special-teams opportunities last season but proved to be a liability at times, was not going to supplant Matt Forte, Ka’Deem Carey or Shaun Draughn on the depth chart. Rookie Senorise Perry returned two kickoffs against Seattle and was well ahead of Ford in special-teams play.