Bears Make Dax Raymond First of Expected Tight End Cuts

All eyes are on Adam Shaheen but the Bears chose first to cut former practice squad player Dax Raymond after drafting Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet
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An expected whittling down of the tight end group by the Bears began Monday when they announced they had waived Dax Raymond.

It's probably not the move most observers expected first at tight end.

Raymond is an undrafted player from Utah State who failed to make the roster cut last year and then came back on the practice squad but did not make it to the 53-man roster during the regular season.

The move which seemed most likely after the Bears made Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet their first pick in the NFL Draft was the departure of tight end Adam Shaheen. 

After three seasons and 26 receptions, Shaheen obviously hasn't produced the way they've hoped he would. 

There are a few reasons they've retained him to this point. Cutting him doesn't really net them much of a salary cap gain. They gain would be over $660,000. He has a $1.27 million salary for this year but they're paying $609,444 in bonus money against the cap for him regrardless of the salary they'd save by cutting him. 

So at that cost, it's possible although not likely they would simply let Shaheen come to training camp just to see if he could remain healthy one more time and if he could do something with the opportunity.  It can't hurt in camp to have enough players for repetitions in practice.

Coach Matt Nagy said over the weekend that Kmet fits in at the "Y" tight end spot in the offense, which is where Shaheen plays. GM Ryan Pace said the plan is for Demetrius Harris to play there, as well. 

So Shaheen's days would seem numbered, but if they kept him and let him show he has value then it's possible they could get something back in a trade. Based on what he's shown, trade value at this point would seem unlikely.

The other Bears tight ends are Jimmy Graham, Jesper Horsted, Ben Braunecker, J.P. Holtz, Darion Clark and Eric Saubert. 

Kentucky wide receiver Ahmad Wagner was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Bears and their plans with him aren't yet known, but because he is 6-foot-6, 234 pounds there are many draft analysts who feel he'll be an NFL tight end.

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