Bears release Prince Amukamara and Taylor Gabriel, clearing $13.5 million in salary-cap space

Tribune Content Agency

CHICAGO — The Bears will head to the scouting combine in Indianapolis next week in search of a starting cornerback and a vertical threat on offense.

The Bears on Friday released veteran cornerback Prince Amukamara, who started 42 games for them over the last three seasons, and wide receiver Taylor Gabriel. By making the moves now, the Bears allow the players to get a head start on finding new employment.

Amukamara, 30, was due to earn a $9 million base salary this year, and the move clears $9 million in salary-cap space. He will count as $1 million in dead money against the 2020 cap.

Amukamara suffered a pulled hamstring at the end of the Bears’ Nov. 28 victory in Detroit. He missed the next game and was slowed in the final three games.

Gabriel, 29, was due to earn a $5.5 million base salary. Cutting him creates $4.5 million in cap space, and he will count as $2 million in dead space this season. Two concussions — one after he caught three touchdown passes in the Week 3 victory over the Redskins — limited him to nine games in 2019. Gabriel caught 96 passes for 1,041 yards and six touchdowns in two seasons with the Bears.

The Bears don’t have a clear replacement for Amukamara on the roster. They could consider Kevin Toliver, who is entering his third season, but the former undrafted free agent won’t get the job without facing competition.

While the Bears have some young receivers who will compete for playing time, such as 2019 fourth-round pick Riley Ridley, they need a speed addition to the offense. Fortunately for them, it’s a strong draft for wide receivers.


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