Bears cut O'Sullivan, who led Galaxy to NFL Europa title game
Only a week after the NFL pulled the plug on its overseas developmental league, the Chicago Bears have terminated the contract of the veteran regarded as the top player in NFL Europa this spring, releasing much-traveled quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan.
The move came only three weeks before the defending NFC champions are scheduled to report to training camp, and reflected O'Sullivan's status as a long shot to win a roster spot. Chicago currently has four other quarterbacks -- starter Rex Grossman, veteran backups Brian Griese and Kyle Orton, and undrafted free agent Chris Leak, who led the University of Florida to a national title in 2006 -- on its depth chart.
Barring an unexpected move, that is the quarterback quartet with which the Bears will enter training camp.
When the Bears signed O'Sullivan to a two-year contract in January, they apparently told him that they would not bring him to camp if he didn't have a viable chance to make the team, and club officials kept that promise. Had the Bears taken O'Sullivan to camp, he would not have counted on their roster, since he was an exempt player because of his tour in NFL Europa.
It will be interesting now to see if O'Sullivan, who earned co-most valuable player honors in leading the Frankfurt Galaxy to the NFL Europa championship game this spring, finds work with another NFL team for camp.
O'Sullivan, 27, completed 160 of 235 passes for 1,997 yards, with 15 touchdown passes and seven interceptions, and a league-best passer efficiency rating of 103.1 in leading Frankfurt to a 7-3 record this spring. While not blessed with an especially strong arm, O'Sullivan is very accurate, and is most effective in a West Coast-style offense.
A sixth-round pick of the Saints in the 2002 draft, O'Sullivan has spent time on rosters in New Orleans (2002-2003), Green Bay (2004), Minnesota (2005), New England (2006) and Carolina (2006). He has served as the No. 3 or "emergency" quarterback for teams in 55 games, but has appeared in just one regular-season contest in a mop-up role for the Packers in 2004. He did not record a pass attempt in that game.
The former Cal-Davis star has now been released four times and traded once.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.