The Chicago Bears announced their initial 53-man roster Tuesday, and while there weren’t many surprises on cutdown day, the dismissal of second-year cornerback Thomas Graham Jr. raised eyebrows.
Graham emerged as an exciting success story over the final month of the 2021 season. He appeared in four games with one start and ended the year with the Bears’ highest coverage grade from Pro Football Focus. To be fair, his 90.6 grade came from a small sample size — 112 snaps — but he was viewed as a likely starter in 2022 when the offseason began.
The selection of Kyler Gordon in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft combined with Graham’s mysterious training camp and preseason absence (hamstring) was too much for the former sixth-round pick to overcome. Still, Graham’s level of play as a rookie resulted in The Touchdown Wire naming him the Bears’ most surprising roster cut.