Biggs: Bears cut Pace

Orlando Pace’s career might not be over. It is with the Chicago Bears, though.

The Bears terminated the contract of the decorated left tackle today, making him an unrestricted free agent. Pace started 11 games last season at left tackle before a minor groin injury sidelined him for a few weeks and the team made the decision to begin the Chris Williams era by moving the former first-round draft pick over from right tackle. Pace struggled run blocking but held up vs. the pass rush, allowing only three sacks.

Pace, who signed a $15 million, three-year contract last April, hours after the Bears traded for quarterback Jay Cutler, would have projected as a backup this season. The 34-year-old projected to be a one- or two-year bridge for the organization after John Tait abruptly retired last offseason with one year remaining on his contract.

Pace said at the end of the season that he wasn’t certain about his future. Whether he continues to play or not might depend on if he is willing to accept a reserve role somewhere. The Bears have depth at the position now. Williams will be the left tackle and Kevin Shaffer is at right tackle. The Bears may have Frank Omiyale compete with Shaffer for the starting job. James Marten is also in the mix as a backup.

The Bears also waived tight end Fontel Mines and guard Tyler Reed. Both were placed on injured reserve last training camp. Mines tore and ACL and Reed required microfracture knee surgery.

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