Bears releasing CB Prince Amukamara, WR Taylor Gabriel

Bears releasing CB Prince Amukamara, WR Taylor Gabriel

Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara makes a tackle against the Saints in October. | Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

The deals were somewhat expected — particularly the parting with Gabriel, a speedster slowed by concussions last year. The Bears don’t have a starting cornerback to replace the veteran Amukamara, who has started 44 games over the previous three seasons.

The Bears are releasing cornerback Prince Amukamara and wide receiver Taylor Gabriel, sources confirmed to the Sun-Times.

The deals were somewhat expected — particularly the parting with Gabriel, a speedster slowed by concussions last year. The Bears don’t have a starting cornerback to replace the veteran Amukamara, who has started 44 games over the previous three seasons.

The Bears made the moves to increase their salary cap space before the start of the league year March 18. They have about $13.4 million in salary cap space devoted to their 51 most expensive contracts, per Spotrac.com. The league average is $43.5 million.

Cutting the two adds another $13.5 million in space.

Amukamara had a cap figure of $10 million in 2020, the final year of the three-year, $27 million deal he signed before the 2018 season. He’ll cost the Bears $1 million in dead money.

Cutting Gabriel creates $4.5 million in cap space but costs the Bears $2 million in dead money next year.

Amukamara understood the potential that his time with the Bears was limited. He discussed it at length in training camp and again in mid-December, when the Bears began playing Kevin Toliver with the veteran dealing with a hamstring injury.

In August, he said he was “very, very conscious” of his contract status at the end of the year, and the fact the Bears could cut him with little penalty.

“I think everything will be lined up for me,” he said then. “However, you [reporters] know the business just as well as me. Guys have to get paid. Eddie [Jackson] is one. I’m sure Tarik [Cohen]. They can do whatever with Mitch [Trubisky]. I know they’re going to have decisions they’re going to need to make. So just knowing that this is the last year of my guarantees and next year they don’t owe me nothing . . . I can’t go into a season worrying about that. I just know I have to put my best foot forward, and everything will take care of itself.”

The Bears will miss Amukamara, a physical cornerback whose arrival in 2017 — on a one-year deal — coincided with the team making a major defensive leap. Gabriel caught 67 passes for 688 yards in his first year with the team in 2018. He caught three touchdowns against the Redskins last year but was limited by multiple concussions — the first suffered during that very game.

Releasing the two now gives them a head-start on finding new homes before the wave of free agency. The league year begins March 18.

Source : Patrick Finley Link

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