Marc Mariani, Jacquizz Rodgers among Bears cuts

Marc Mariani, Jacquizz Rodgers among Bears cuts

It may not fall entirely the heading of risky cuts, but the Bears on Saturday released wide receiver Marc Mariani, one of quarterback Jay Cutler’s most trusted targets, along with running back Jacquizz Rodgers, perhaps the Bears’ best special-teams contributor among running backs and the only Bears back with more than two years of NFL experience.

At the same time, decisions to keep tight ends Khari Lee and inexperienced Greg Scruggs, plus a fullback in Paul Lasike, underscored the Bears’ stated commitment to running the football.

Fox and Pace established last year that they were not wedded to “their guys,” whether draft picks or free-agency additions. They were not inclined to compound one issue by stubbornly sticking to it. And the mistaken perception that Fox disdains youth in preference of veterans was again contradicted.

All of last year’s six-member draft class made it through to the regular roster, with an asterisk for Kevin White, who was placed on the PUP list to buy time for his stress fracture to heal. The 2016 class was nine, and eight cleared the initial trims, with only seventh-rounder Daniel Braverman being cut but expected to be brought back on the practice squad.

Expect the 2016 Bears roster to remain fluid on through Week 1, the trading deadline and possibly beyond. Teams routinely are in constant search of upgrades and Pace has made it abundantly clear that the Bears would be aggressive once roster cutdowns made possible upgrades available from other teams’ castoffs.

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Other Bears roster cuts:

DeVante Bausby, CB: Had an opportunity and made some plays before injury setback and others (Jacoby Glenn, Deiondre' Hall) played better.

Daniel Braverman, WR: Little preseason game production after stellar days in camp. Nothing special on ‘teams, and slot receiver already deep.

Ben Braunecker, TE: Surprise find in minicamp but slowed by injury through camp; top candidate for practice squad.

B.J. Daniels, WR/KR: Bears wanted a kick returner but botched punt situation at Cleveland closed his small window.

John Timu, LB: Made enough plays last preseason but too many misses this year to beat out Jonathan Anderson.

Jason Weaver, OT: Youth and size make him a practice-squad gimme after some decent showings in camp and preseason.

Garry Williams, OT: Could play LT but Bears liked taller Mike Adams’ upside coming off back surgery.

Terry Williams, NT: “Swamp Monster” had moments this camp and last but too one-dimensional and not enough dominance vs. run to warrant keeping.

Khaled Holmes, C

Danny Mason, LB

Kevin Peterson, CB

Patrick Scales, LS

Shelley Smith, G

Bears logo ranked in bottom five of NFL in recent fan poll

USA Today

Bears logo ranked in bottom five of NFL in recent fan poll

The Chicago Bears logo has withstood the test of time. In a sports era full of uniform changes, the Bears have maintained the classic orange 'C' for most of their nearly 100 years in Chicago.

Unfortunately, tradition doesn't equate to popularity.

Chicago's logo ranked 28th in the NFL, according to a recent poll of nearly 1,500 football fans. Only the Redskins (29), Bengals (30), Jets (31) and Browns (32) were worse.

I’m not sure how I feel about the underbite on the “C.” I can see how this would be a polarizing feature of this logo. I wish to an extent that it met up more evenly. I think they could have had the bottom meet up in a more even fashion and still maintained the sharpness, of the “C,” which I like. I don’t mind the point [ON THE BACK SIDE OF THE “C”], without the point it would be super boring. The point actually does add something from a design standpoint that makes it stand out.

Bears fans will take exception with the results. Wins have been hard to come by in recent seasons, but there's still something special about seeing the familiar navy and orange on Sundays in the fall. The 'C' is arguably the biggest part of that. Sure, it's not a complex design overflowing with colors, but it represents a long and storied history. 

It's interesting that each of the bottom five teams have struggled to string together winning seasons. On the flipside, teams like the Saints, Falcons, Rams, Vikings and Eagles rank in the top six. Maybe it's recency bias.

In the NFC North, the Lions rank No. 2 (which is a shocker) and the Packers are No. 20. 

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Former first-round pick Kevin White hasn't caught a break -- or a touchdown -- through the first three years of his career. He has more season-ending injuries than 100-yard games and after an offseason focused on upgrades at wide receiver, White's future in Chicago beyond 2018 is very much in doubt.

Ryan Pace declined the fifth-year option in White's rookie contract, making this a prove-it year for the pass-catcher who once resembled a blend of Larry Fitzgerald and Dez Bryant during his time at West Virginia.

He's getting a fresh start from new coach Matt Nagy.

"He is healthy and he's really doing well," Nagy told Danny Kanell and Steve Torre Friday on SiriusXM's Dog Days Sports. "We're trying to keep him at one position right now so he can focus in on that."

White can't take all the blame for his 21 catches, 193 yards and zero scores through 48 possible games. He's only suited up for five. Whether it's bad luck or bad bone density, White hasn't had a legitimate chance to prove, on the field, that he belongs.

Nagy's looking forward, not backward, when it comes to 2015's seventh pick overall.

"That's gone, that's in the past," Nagy said of White's first three years. "This kid has a new future with us."

White won't be handed a job, however.

"He's gotta work for it, he's gotta put in the time and effort to do it," Nagy said. "But he will do that, he's been doing it. He's a great weapon, he's worked really hard. He has great size, good speed. We just want him to play football and not worry about anything else."