Bears release Adam Podlesh

Updated: March 5, 2014, 2:04 PM ET
By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com

The Chicago Bears have terminated the contract of veteran punter Adam Podlesh, the team announced Wednesday.

Podlesh was set to make $1.45 million in base salary in 2014 and carried a cap charge of $1.875 million.

He originally signed a five-year, $10 million contract ($3.5 million in total guarantees) with the Bears in the spring of 2011. Only $800,000 of guaranteed money remains, meaning the Bears will have that much in dead money if they take all of the cap hit in 2014 or $400,000 if they make Podlesh a post-June 1 designation so they can spread the cap hit over two years.

Podlesh declined comment on his release, but did tweet about the move Wednesday.

Podlesh played three seasons with Chicago and had a gross average of 42.3 yards on 238 punts. He hit 82 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line with just 12 touchbacks, one blocked punt and a net average of 39.4 yards.

When Podlesh experienced a slump last season, the club strongly considered releasing him, bringing in five punters for tryouts at Halas Hall.

The Bears have two other punters on the roster in Drew Butler and Tress Way. Butler's cap charge for 2014 is $495,000. Way signed a futures contract on Jan. 1 worth $420,000.

General manager Phil Emery talked about the team's punter situation at the NFL scouting combine last month in Indianapolis.

"It's wide open. It's a wide-open competition," he said.

ESPNChicago.com's Jeff Dickerson contributed to this report.

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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