Last season, Ryan Pace and the Bears had some major fat-trimming to do. Mike Glennon, Pernell McPhee, Quintin Demps, and many more were released before or immediately after the start of the new league year.
This offseason, there is significantly less of that for Pace take care of, but he took an important first step this afternoon in cutting tight end Dion Sims.
Signed to a three-year deal from the Miami Dolphins, Sims’ tenure in Chicago left much to be desired. He caught a total of 17 passes in two years for 189 yards and a single touchdown. It was a pretty awesome touchdown (the second of Mitchell Trubisky‘s career on an over-the-shoulder catch), but he really didn’t contribute at all beyond that one score.
Mostly utilized as a blocking tight end in Miami, Sims was signed with the hope that he could develop into something more. Pace has had some success with that type of player – a low-level signing who may not be a huge name and was underused in their prior location – but for every Akiem Hicks out there, there’s going to be a Dion Sims.
He disappointed as a blocker with the Bears and he failed to make any impact in the passing game. His shortcomings there go beyond the stat sheet, as beyond the first game of the season it was clear that Trubisky didn’t trust him whatsoever. He also struggled with health issues, landing on IR this past season with multiple concussions.
The Bears opted to keep him past his first bad season with the team because they had more than enough cap space and extra depth can’t hurt, but they actively look to upgrade with the signing of Trey Burton. The luxury of extra cap space wasn’t there this year, not by a long shot, so cutting Sims was an easy choice.
His release saves the Bears about $6 million in cap room, and costs them about $333k in dead money.
Sims is now gone, much like the vast majority of the free agent class of 2017. In a group that included Glennon, Demps, Markus Wheaton, and Marcus Cooper, only cornerback Prince Amukamara remains with the team.
Pace likely isn’t done shedding unnecessary money (for more on who could be next, read this), but getting rid of Sims is a good start. His role won’t be difficult to fill for a team that needs all the cap space they can get heading into the new league year.
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