LAKE FOREST — After their final preseason game against the Bills, Ryan Poles immediately went to work to cut his roster down to 53 players ahead of the NFL deadline on Tuesday.

The general manager has already said goodbye to a few players, including one of his offseason free agent signings and a former first round pick.

On Sunday night, the Bears confirmed that they’ve let go of quarterback P.J. Walker along with offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood as part of their initial cuts to the roster ahead of Tuesday.

Included in that group is undrafted free agent offensive lineman Gabe Houy, who was waived with an injury designation.

Poles and the rest of his staff must cut the roster to 53 players by 3 p.m. central time on Tuesday, which will be the group that will take the field against the Packers on September 10 at Soldier Field.

Walker had signed a two-year, $4 million deal with the Bears this offseason, which included $2 million guaranteed. But the quarterback’s play was underwhelming in the preseason, and the emergence of undrafted free agent Tyson Bagent convinced Poles to make the move.

The rookie now enters a competition to be Justin Fields’ back-up for the 2023 season with Nathan Peterman, who was re-signed to a one-year, $1.035 million deal this offseason.

A 2021 first round pick of the Raiders, who signed a four-year, $14.3 million after that, Leatherwood was claimed by the Bears before the 2022 season after being waived by Las Vegas. He appeared in just four games last season and didn’t do enough to show the Bears a reason to keep him this preseason.

Leatherwood’s contract has a $4.5 million dead cap hit, so Poles decided to absorb it rather than have him stay on the roster.