Although they have until 3 p.m. Tuesday to trim the roster to 75, the Bears cut 14 players Sunday afternoon, leaving them with 76.
The biggest name among the cuts was Arlington Heights native and former Buffalo Grove High School star Tom Zbikowski. The sixth-year veteran safety from Notre Dame faced an uphill battle because of an abundance of numbers at his position and received very little significant playing time in the first three preseason games.
Zbikowski, who has been bothered by a minor ankle injury, saw most of his action during training camp and in preseason games with the third and fourth teams. Sixth-year veteran strong safety Craig Steltz, who has played in 61 games with the Bears, and Anthony Walters, who played in all 16 games with the Bears last season and started the season finale at free safety, are the top backups behind starters Major Wright and Chris Conte. Brandon Hardin, a third-round pick in 2012, who missed last season with a neck injury, was third on the depth chart at strong safety, ahead of Zbikowski, who started 11 games for the Colts last season.
Zbikowski has received interest from other teams, including the Steelers, who expressed interest in him before he signed with the Bears on March 23.
The Bears also released sixth-year veteran wide receiver Devin Aromashodu, who played for them from 2008-10, and fifth-year veteran defensive end Kyle Moore.
The crowded tight end position was whittled with the release of Gabe Miller, who must serve a four-game suspension at the start of the regular season, and 6-foot-8 veteran Leonard Pope, who wasn't signed until training camp was under way.
Linebacker Patrick Trahan, who played in six games on special teams for the Bears over the past two seasons, was cut along with first-year linebacker Lawrence Wilson.
The other cuts included running back Curtis Brinkley, defensive tackles Brent Russell and Eric Foster, offensive tackle A.J. Lindeman, center P.J. Lonergan, safety Derrick Martin and punter Tress Way.
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