Bears release veteran safety Rolle, guard Slauson
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) The Chicago Bears released safety Antrel Rolle and left guard Matt Slauson on Sunday after sending strong signals in the draft that the veterans' days with the team were numbered.
Rolle, a three-time Pro Bowl pick, has 26 interceptions and 71 pass breakups over 11 seasons. But after starring with the Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants, his lone year in Chicago was a disappointing one.
Although he was valued for his leadership, he struggled to stay on the field because of knee and ankle injuries after signing a three-year deal. He recorded just one pass breakup without an interception in seven games before being placed on injured reserve in December because of a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee.
Chicago went 6-10 in its first season under general manager Ryan Pace and coach John Fox.
''I appreciate the Chicago Bears and the organization for the opportunity,'' the 33-year-old Rolle posted on Twitter. ''Blessed as always. Looking forward to what is next!''
It looked like the Bears were moving on from Rolle after drafting two safeties - Deon Bush of Miami in the fourth round and William & Mary's DeAndre Houston-Carson in the sixth. The same for Slauson after Chicago took Kansas State guard Cody Whitehair in the second round.
That pick along with the signing of former Arizona Cardinals right tackle Bobby Massie and several other additions created a logjam on the line.
Slauson, who made 12 starts at left guard and four at center last season, is out after three years in Chicago. He has appeared in 88 games with 85 starts over seven seasons with the New York Jets (2009-12) and Bears (2013-15).
''Both men did everything we asked of them,'' Pace said in a statement. ''Part of growing as a team is making difficult decisions like the ones we made today.''
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL