The Bears announced this afternoon that they've terminated the contract of 2008 first round pick Chris Williams and also brought back perpetual disappointment CB Zack Bowman. Bowman is undoubtedly simply a special teams move, since Williams obviously can't contribute in that department and the Bears are extremely deep and talented at corner right now. The story here, then, is that yet another Jerry Angelo first round pick has wandered off of the reservation. The only Angelo top rounder left is his last, Gabe Carimi, who hopefully will overcome his poor play of late before fans like me wake up and realize hes' been more of the problem than J'Marcus Webb, who has actually played well in four of five games.
Williams was a guy who just seemed cursed from the very beginning. He missed almost all of his rookie year with a back injury (that Jerry Angelo totes knew about, so you go whistle dixie and don't ask anymore questions, reporter man) and was therefore fighting to shed the bust label before he even took the field. He struggled in 2009 at right tackle before the absolute disaster that was Orlando Pace forced the team to move him to the blind side. He played very well down the stretch at that spot, shut down Jared Allen in one of the more exciting upsets in Bears history, and went into 2010 with some considerable hype. Williams killed that hype immediately by allowing four sacks in one preseason game to Kamerion Wimbley, then looked miserable in the opener against the Lions and in a few series against the Cowboys before he suffered a hamstring injury and left the lineup. When he returned, the Bears moved him to left guard, where he slowly improved throughout the second half of 2010 and the first half of 2011, but an injury sidelined him yet again for the second of last year. Given one last shot at redemption, he lost a competition for the left tackle job that, to be fair, was clearly rigged in Webb's favor. Williams has been inactive for most of the season behind recently signed tackle Jonathan Scott, who has more experience at both tackle positions and doubles as the backup long-snapper.
It was clear from all of this that William's departure after the season was inevitable, but his immediate release is somewhat surprising. It works well for both the Bears and Williams, as the Bears can use the roster spot for someone who can actually contribute on special teams and Williams can hopefully find work with any of the offensive lines currently struggling around the league (like you, Arizona. I mean, come on, can he possibly be any worse than what you've got? The Bears just released Kahlil Bell, too. Sign 'em both and buy your NFC West Champion t-shirts right now). The big question now, however, with yet another Angelo first round pick gone, is which of Angelo's many failures was worst?
To refresh your memory, here's a brief recap of Jerry's first round picks as Bears GM:
2002, 29th Pick, Marc Colombo, OT, Boston College: Colombo was a promising LT from Boston College who got hurt just 10 games into his career and missed most of the next two years before getting his release in 2004. He later played decently for the f*&king Cowboys.
2003, 14th Pick, Michael Haynes, DE, Penn State: Haynes, a one year wonder at Penn State, was a poor fit as a run-stuffing DE in Lovie's speed-based defense. He was moved to DT, where he did nothing, and bounced out of football in two years.
2003, 22nd Pick, Rex Grossman, QB, Florida: The second half of the two-for-one 2003 special was Mark Sanchez before it was cool to be Mark Sanchez, letting his defense and his performance in a few blowouts of bad teams carry him all the way to a Superbowl that he botched in epic fashion. Turned the ball over like Todd Marinovich on heroin, desperately trying to rid himself of the bugs crawling all over the football. Currently the inactive 3rd quarterback of the Redskins behind two rookies.
2004, 14th Pick, Tommie Harris, DT, Oklahoma: Dominating three technique when healthy, suffered a series of injuries in 2006 and 2007 that limited his effectiveness. Sadly just lost his wife less than a year after their wedding. Much beloved by one-time SKO contributor Apex.
2005, 4th Pick, Cedric Benson, RB, Texas: F*&king f*&khead who held out for more money and missed training camp, thus missing out on a starting job the Bears were prepared to hand to him (missed training camp due to injury in 2006 when Bears were AGAIN going to hand him a starting job), fumbled in Superbowl, failed miserably as starter in 2007, bitched incessantly, arrested often. Released by Bears to make room for Matt Forte, claimed Bears regretted cutting him despite the fact that both his predecessor and his successor were infinitely better than him. Played a few games for the Packers before getting hurt again.
2007, 31st Pick, Greg Olsen, TE, Miami: Extremely athletic receiving tight end who was often misused and underutilized in Chicago and also couldn't block a damn thing. Currently being misused and underutilized in Carolina while still not blocking a damn thing. Fumbled a lot.
2008, 14th Pick, Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt: See above.
Now that your memory is jogged, go vote up top on the pick that disappointed you most.