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Chalk Talk


Chalk Talk: Which waiver pickup will make biggest impact?

Bears defensive tackle Armon Watts
Bears defensive tackle Armon Watts

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on

Of the players the Bears picked up on waivers after final cuts, who do you think will make the biggest impact this season?
Richard T.
Whitewater, Wisconsin

I'll predict that defensive tackle Armon Watts will make the biggest impact of the seven players the Bears claimed off waivers following final cuts. He spent his first three NFL seasons with the Vikings and blossomed last year, establishing career highs with 46 tackles, 5.0 sacks and three tackles-for-loss while playing in all 17 games with nine starts. He was projected to start again this season, but apparently the Vikings didn't feel that he fit into the new defense they installed this season under first-year coach Kevin O'Connell and new defensive coordinator Ed Donatell, a former Bears defensive backs coach. The Bears' other six waiver picks were cornerback Josh Blackwell (Eagles), defensive end Kingsley Jonathan (Bills), offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood (Raiders), linebacker Sterling Weatherford (Colts), tight end Trevon Wesco (Jets) and receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette (Vikings).

Wondering if you could shed some light on how the waiver process works. Let's say the Bears want to claim a defensive lineman. What happens if the player they want is claimed by another team that's ahead of them in the waiver order? Do they get to claim a second player?
Edward S.
Barrington, Illinois

NFL teams can submit a priority list of players when making a waiver claim. So if their top choice is taken off the board by another team, they would get their second pick.

Did any of the players the Bears released during final cuts get picked up by another team?
Ross P.

Cornerback Duke Shelley joined the Vikings practice squad and defensive tackle Khyiris Tonga signed onto the Falcons practice squad. With former Bears general manager Ryan Pace now working in Atlanta's front office, the Falcons are seemingly collecting former Chicago players. There are seven on their 53-man roster: Abdullah Anderson, Damiere Byrd, Germain Ifedi, Nick Kwiatkoski, Cordarrelle Patterson, Elijah Wilkinson and Damien Williams. The Falcons also signed Eddie Goldman during the offseason, but he retired.

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