One day after shaking up the roster by reportedly trading Khalil Mack, Bears GM Ryan Poles continued to remake the roster. According to Adam Schefter, the Bears are releasing Tarik Cohen with an injury designation.
Cohen tore his ACL in Week 3 of the 2020 season and hasn’t played since. Per Schefter, Cohen is still unable to pass a physical, stemming from that injury.
According to Spotrac, Cohen was set to earn $3.9 million as a base salary, with $2.5 million guaranteed for injury. Additionally, cutting Cohen will incur $3.5 million in dead money this year, with $2.25 million in salary cap savings. However, if the Bears designate Cohen as one of their two post-June 1 cuts those numbers would change to $1.75 million in dead money for 2022 and 2023, with $4 million in savings this season.
When healthy, Cohen was one of the most dynamic players on the Bears roster. As a dual-threat weapon, he racked up 1,101 rushing yards, 1,575 receiving yards and 14 total touchdowns in 51 career games. He made big impacts in the return game, too, and was named a First-Team All-Pro for his punt return prowess in 2018. That season he averaged 12.5 yards per return and led the league with 411 total punt return yards. He also returned one punt for a touchdown in 2017.
The Bears now have only two running backs under contract for next season, David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert. They are expected to lead the team as a one-two punch, but Poles could add to the group with a smaller, quicker back to replace Cohen’s skillset.