The week leading up to free agency can be a tough time in the NFL, as many teams pare down their rosters by cutting veterans and shedding expensive contracts. It’s been no different for the Bears, as new GM Ryan Poles has already begun shaping the roster to fit the organization's new vision for the future. It’s understandable for players to voice their disappointment, or even displeasure, after receiving the bad news. But former Bears running back Tarik Cohen took to social media to share a joke instead.
While Cohen may be out of work now, if he can make enough progress rehabbing his injured knee, he should have no problem finding a new job rushing the ball. Cohen tore his ACL in Week 3 of the 2020 season and hasn’t played since. According to Adam Schefter, Cohen still hasn’t passed a physical, stemming from that injury.
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.
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.