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Bears waive P Trenton Gill

The Bears went in the fourth round for a punter last week, beating Iowa's Tory Taylor take over. This will be a change, and Chicago isn't wasting much time getting it done.

Instead of thinking about a contest, the Bears are waiving their incumbent player Trenton GillField Yates from ESPN.com Tweets. Gill served as the Bears' punter the past two seasons. Gill has two years left on his rookie contract.

Among regular players, Gill was in the bottom quartile with a 46.1-yard average last season. The Bears ranked 31st in net punting, which obviously affects more than just Gill's range, but were 30th in punting inside the 20 (26.9%). Chicago selected Gill 255th overall in the 2022 draft out of NC State. Gill is scheduled to receive a base salary of $985,000 in 2024; The Bears will incur a minimal dead money hit (less than $40,000) from this transaction.

The move clears the way for Taylor, who was often on the field for an Iowa team that struggled offensively in 2023. Averaging 48.2 yards per boot in 2023, Taylor did this despite 93 punts. Iowa ranked 132nd in Division I-FBS with 15.4 points per game. Their punter, meanwhile, broke multiple FBS single-season and career records and earned All-America recognition in 2022 (second team) and 2023 (first team).

The Bears went into the draft with just four picks and brought in one Caleb Williams (No. 1) and Rome Odunze (No. 9) before the Yale tackle was drafted Kiran Amegadjie 75th overall. When the Bears took Taylor at No. 122, they were out of picks. The team later traded a future pick to draft Kansas State edge rusher in Round 5 Austin Booker. Taylor's rookie contract runs until 2027; The Bears hope his tenure in the Windy City lasts longer.

Three teams have selected a punter in Round 4 over the last four years, but only one did so between 2007 and 2019 – the 2012 Jaguars, who chose Bryan rage in round 3 – did this. The Bears decided to follow the recent trend and deemed an upgrade here a priority.

Anna Harden

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