If the fourth and final preseason games seem less meaningful than the others since many starters don't even play, guess again.

They're actually meaningless.

That, at least, is the conclusion you might draw after hearing recent comments from Bears coach Lovie Smith. He says decisions on fringe roster players have mostly been made before the fourth preseason games are even played, and when asked how often a player wins a spot based on his performance in that game, he said: "Not very often. ... I think we've seen a lot of guys that have performed well, and they just confirm what we were thinking in the last game."

Smith said coaches have almost always seen all they need to from organized team activities, minicamp, training camp, and the first three preseason games to make the personnel decisions at the back of the roster.

"In the end, you want to see how they're going to finish," Smith said. "When you know that you need to play the best that you can play -- you want to see how they handle that."
It all makes a very good argument for fewer preseason games, but then again, that would mean less revenue.

Bubble King: Veteran WR Rashied Davis is hoping to keep alive a Chicago Bears bubble tradition.

"I personally have never been cut," Davis said. "So I don't really know what it's like to have to deal with that."

In six previous Bears seasons, Davis had always seemed on the verge of being cut, but never was. He left as a free agent before last season and returned this camp. His longevity was all due to his special teams ability. But he could find out what it's like to be cut now, though, because the list of wide receivers ahead of him is longer and more talented than in the past.
Davis admits he has little value as a receiver right now because he came into camp after it started, and isn't as up on the offense as other receivers.

"It's a difficult thing, but for me it will probably be easier than it would be for a rookie," he said. "I've been playing this game for 12 years now. This will be my 12th: four in Arena, eight in the NFL. I've been blessed. My wife and I have done well with the money that we've made."

Price is right: Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli confirmed that DT Brian Price is one veteran who definitely will get plenty of playing time Thursday at Cleveland. Price came in late after being acquired in a trade with Tampa.

"We obviously want more and we want to see it faster obviously," Marinelli said of Price. "He’s showing some good progress, he’s got power, balance and he’s had really some flash plays. He’s flashed in practice and in games at times. Now it’s about the consistency, maybe the endurance."

Hardly knew yee: FB-RB Harvey Unga finally got his official release Monday as the roster reached the required 75 players. Unga never played and missed two seasons -- one on injured reserve and the other for what amounted to personal reasons when he went on the reserve/left squad list. The Bears spent a seventh-round supplmental draft pick on him. 
Unga goes into the bust category produced by former GM Jerry Angelo. The most telling statistic about Angelo's drafting ability: The Bears took 30 players total in the 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 drafts. The only one still on the team is Devin Hester.

Roll call: DT Henry Melton and TE Matt Spaethe both practiced Monday after missing Sunday with injuries. ... DT Stephen Paea continued to miss practice due to an ankle sprain and S Chris Conte is still out with a shoulder injury. LB Brian Urlacher (knee) was at practice but not involved.

Follow Bears reporter Gene Chamberlain on Twitter @CBSSportsNFLCHI.