“It was disappointing, it was very disappointing in that we felt he made some strides last year and we were playing on the good things,” said GM Jerry Angelo said of Hutchinson. “There were a lot of things that didn’t work out well on the offense last year, to say it was strictly the quarterback would be unfair to any of them.
“But he just didn’t progress the way we thought he would. That’s the short of it. I know he’s just as disappointed as what we are.”
All signs pointed to Hutchinson being cut after head coach Lovie Smith demoted him following his dismal performance against the Buffalo Bills. Not only was Hutchinson relieved of his starting duties, but dropped to the fourth quarterback on the depth chart.
Despite going 1-4 as a starter in the team’s final five games in 2004, Hutchinson was named the starter two days after Rex Grossman suffered a broken ankle on Aug. 12 at St. Louis.
Hutchinson finished the preseason with a 23.1 passer rating after completing 20-of-42 passes for 211 yards. He threw four interceptions and no touchdowns in two starts.
Dustin Lyman, who spent five injury-plagued years with the Bears, failed to establish himself when starter Desmond Clark missed nearly three months with an ankle injury. Lyman too missed time with an ankle problem and caught just one pass in the preseason.
“Once Desmond Clark came back, it was obvious he was our best guy and the other players that we have here right now, the tight ends, had performed better,” Smith said.
Lyman appeared in 55 games over that span with 37 receptions for 278 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 32 special teams tackles.
The six-foot-5, 254-pounder played linebacker in college, but was converted to tight end upon being selected in the third round of the 2000 draft by the late Mark Hatley.
Lyman showed glimpses of having the combination of athletic ability and strength to be a starting tight end. However, his best game as a Bear summed up his professional career.
While he caught seven balls for 58 yards and two touchdowns against Green Bay on Dec. 1, 2002, he suffered a season ending knee injury in the same game.
The Bears also waived DE Quinn Dorsey, DT Antonio Garay, S Marvin Ward and OT Bo Lacy. The team officially placed LB Marcus Reese and S Cameron Worrell on injured reserve because of dislocated shoulders.
FB Bryan Johnson and CB Alfonso Marshall were put on the physically unable to perform list, which means they will not be eligible to return until after six weeks in the regular season.
The Bears still currently have 75 players on the roster, but that includes 10 players with NFL Europe exemptions.
The 53-man roster has to be established by 5 p.m. on Saturday.