Round one

Sauter's release no surprise

The Bears took the first step toward making their final roster. The team cut ten players Friday, which means they still have to trim the roster by 11 to make the mandatory 53-man squad by Sunday.

Despite an impressive preseason campaign, Edell Shepherd was among ten players that were waived by the Bears. The wideout led the team in receptions and yardage during the exhibition season, but it wasn't enough to make a team that will likely carry six receivers into the season.

"We said going in that we thought it was a position that would be a strong one for us, a very competitive one and I think that it's proved out that way," said head coach Dick Jauron of his receiving core. "And we will and probably have let guys go already that will play in the league."

The other cuts were DT Tony Bedford, FB Tyree Forman, TE Bryan Fletcher, CB Teddy Gaines, G Jeff Grzeskowiak, RB Maurice Hicks, LS Mike Malczyk, QB Cory Sauter, and WR Elijah Thurmon.

While the team is likely to go heavy at receiver, the cornerback slot could only see four start the season. R.W. McQuarters, Jerry Azumah and Charles Tillman are locks to make the squad, but either Todd McMillon or Roosevelt Williams could find be without a job.

Jason Goss is likely to be cut Sunday, but if he clears waivers the cornerback will be signed the five-man practice squad, which will be set Monday. Although there's no guarantee Goss will still be available.

"We'll set the practice squad with Jerry and Bobby and Greg Gabriel right at the time because lots of things happen. I wouldn't discount that happening," Jauron said. "But you've got to wait and see who else comes available all over the league and then what you're looking at, the condition of your team-like situations like this occur-and it may change the structure of your practice squad."

The Bears will add another 11 players Sunday to get down to 53 players. There could be some surprises among the final cuts. Veterans on the bubble include FB Daimon Shelton and LB Mike Caldwell.

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