The Chicago Bears are taking a flier on a young offensive lineman who was drafted in the first round just last year, as CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones reports that general manager Ryan Poles and Co. have claimed former Las Vegas Raiders lineman Alex Leatherwood.
The former No. 17 overall pick out of Alabama played tackle and guard during his rookie campaign, and has largely disappointed — which led to speculation that he would be traded or cut. According to NFL Media, the Raiders attempted to shop Leatherwood to the 31 other NFL teams. No one bit, and he was released.
What’s important to note is that with this claim, the Bears are taking over Leatherwood’s contract. Per NFL Media, the deal has three years remaining on it for $5.9 million — which is fully guaranteed. Las Vegas paid approximately 58.9% of the contract.
CBS Sports NFL Draft expert Chris Trapasso said that Leatherwood probably should have been selected in the second or third round last year, which would have obviously affected his expectations entering his rookie season. He started multiple years for the best program in college football, and while he didn’t impress in his first 17 NFL games, he has the intangibles to rebound in Chicago.
The Bears also claimed five other players on waivers: former Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Josh Blackwell, former Buffalo Bills defensive end Kingsley Jonathan, former Minnesota Vikings nose tackle Armon Watts, former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Sterling Weatherford and former New York Jets tight end Trevon Wesco.