Chicago Bears Khalil Herbert Could Be On Chopping Block

Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles has done a great job of upgrading the talent on the team’s roster. However, some of the additions could put some veterans, such as running back Khalil Herbert, in danger of not making the team.

Khalil Herbert has been with the team since being selected in the 2021 NFL Draft. A sixth-round pick out of Virginia Tech, he made an immediate impact on the team.

In his rookie season, he started on the depth chart behind veterans David Montgomery and Damien Williams. By the end of the season, he had cemented his place as the No. 2 running back in the pecking order.

It was more of the same in 2022, as Khalil Herbert was the backup to Montgomery. The second-year back showed a lot more explosiveness, gaining 731 yards on 129 carries compared to the 801 yards on 201 carries for Montgomery.

Given what the Virginia Tech product showed in 2022, the Chicago Bears decided to let Montgomery walk in free agency. They would use a fourth-round pick on Roschon Johnson in the 2023 NFL Draft and bring in veteran D’Onta Foreman.

The starting job looked to be Herbert’s but he was unable to seize the opportunity. He missed five games and saw his production slip from the previous season.

Heading into training camp this year, his roster spot is far from guaranteed. In the opinion of Adam Jahns of The Athletic, Khalil Herbert could be on the chopping block this summer.

“…And yet, it wouldn’t be surprising if Herbert is considered on the bubble at Halas Hall. He’s in a contract year and the Bears drafted Johnson last year and signed Swift this year,” Jahns wrote.

Heading into Year 2, Johnson’s role should only grow in 2024. Also, the Chicago Bears pretty clearly don’t view Khalil Herbert as a starting option in the backfield.

If they did, they wouldn’t have signed running back D’Andre Swift to a multi-year contract in free agency. He agreed to a three-year, $24 million deal and has been running with the starters, as expected, this offseason.

When taking into account the other running backs on the depth chart, there is no clear-cut path to a roster spot for Khalil Herbert. Both Khari Blasingame and Travis Homer bring special teams prowess to the table.

Khalil Herbert has experience as a return man, which should help him. But the team could also give a look to undrafted rookie Ian Wheeler, who could be a factor as a return man as well.

The Chicago Bears keeping all six players would be surprising. More than likely, four or five are kept, which puts the Virginia Tech product squarely on the chopping block.

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