Bears dump OT Williams
If you haven’t done so already, mark down another Bears first-round bust.
The Bears released offensive tackle Chris Williams on Tuesday in a move that punctuated five years of disappointment and unrealized expectations. To fill Williams’ roster spot, the Bears re-signed veteran cornerback Zackary Bowman.
Although the Bears waited until after Week 6 to release Williams, his fate was decided once the team removed him from the active roster Oct. 1 against the Dallas Cowboys. He spent the next two games in street clothes while veteran tackle Jonathan Scott took his place as a backup swing tackle.
Scott has not emerged as a starter, but he proved to be more reliable than Williams as an insurance policy in case starting offensive tackles J’Marcus Webb and Gabe Carimi go down with injuries. Webb and Carimi played every snap on offense in the Bears’ most recent game at Jacksonville, while Scott played eight snaps on special teams.
Williams, 27, lost his job about two months after losing a training-camp competition with Webb for the starting job at left tackle. He started 38 of 50 games in parts of five seasons with the Bears, who drafted him No. 14 overall in 2008.
The departure of Williams means that second-year player Carimi is the only first-round pick who remains from ex-general manager Jerry Angelo’s tenure.
Three of Angelo’s first-round picks play for different teams: Greg Olsen (2007) is with Carolina, Cedric Benson (2005) is with Green Bay and Rex Grossman (2003) is with Washington. Meanwhile, four players are out of football: Williams (2008), Tommie Harris (2004), Michael Haynes (2003) and Marc Colombo (2002).
Bowman, 27, started 16 of 46 games in parts of four seasons with the Bears from 2008 to 2011. He could challenge Sherrick McManis for playing time on special teams while providing depth at cornerback behind Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings and Kelvin Hayden.