Bears Cut Two Notable Veterans Ahead of Free Agency

The NFL offseason is underway and the Chicago Bears didn't waste any time moving on from these two veterans ahead of free agency.

DB Eddie Jackson was cut by the Bears on Thursday.
DB Eddie Jackson was cut by the Bears on Thursday. / Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

With Super Bowl LVIII in the rearview mirror, the Chicago Bears haven't wasted any time kickstarting the NFL offseason.

The Bears announced on Thursday that they have released two veteran players: defensive back Eddie Jackson and offensive guard Cody Whitehair. The duo were Chicago's longest-tenured players on both sides of the ball, meaning the franchise no longer has any players it drafted in 2020 or earlier.

Bears News: Chicago Waives Eddie Jackson, Cody Whitehair

Fans will be sad to see Jackson and Whitehair go, but the NFL is a business and the Bears needed to free up money to make moves this offseason. Spotract listed Chicago as having around $49 million in cap space prior to releases, however, that number jumps up to over $70 million with those two contracts coming off the books.

Jackson had spent seven seasons with the Bears since being drafted 112th overall in 2017. He's made two Pro Bowls and was named All-Pro first-team during his first three seasons with the franchise, but injuries suffered over the last few years prevented him from reaching those heights again.

The 30-year-old finishes his stint in the Windy City with 355 solo tackles, 44 defended passes, 15 interceptions, three Pick-6s, and three fumbles recovered for a touchdown across 100 games.

As for Whitehair, Bears fans aren't too surprised by his release. The veteran blocker wasn't nearly as efficient as in past years, finishing the 2023 campaign with the fifth-worst run-block (42.4) and overall defense (45.0) grades among 79 eligible guards, per Pro Football Focus. He also gave up 22 total pressures on 454 passing snaps for a pass-block grade of 55.0 — his second-worst mark in the last six seasons.

At the end of the day, Whitehair made 118 starts across 124 games in a Bears jersey with the highlight of his career being when he made the 2018 Pro Bowl.

Nevertheless, the Bears are in a great spot to replace both veterans this offseason. In addition to having nearly $70 million to use in free agency, Chicago owns five top-125 draft picks with three of them taking place within the first 75 selections.

In other Bears news: