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Bears release former first-round pick Williams

Lake Forest, IL (Sports Network) - The Chicago Bears have parted ways with offensive lineman Chris Williams, releasing the disappointing 2008 first-round pick on Tuesday.

Williams was taken by Chicago with the 14th overall selection of the 2008 draft to be the team's answer at left tackle, but only started seven games at that spot during his five-year tenure with the team. The Vanderbilt product appeared in just three contests as a reserve this season and was a healthy scratch in each of Bears' past two games.

The 27-year-old made 38 overall starts for Chicago, 20 of which came at left guard and 11 at right tackle.

To fill the roster spot, the Bears signed cornerback Zack Bowman for a second tour of duty with the organization.

A fifth-round choice of Chicago in 2008, Bowman started 12 times during his second pro season and compiled 117 tackles, seven interceptions and 22 special-teams stops over 46 games (16 starts) during a four-year run with the Bears.

The 27-year-old signed with Minnesota during the offseason but was released by the Vikings in August.

10/16 19:32:37 ET