The Bears Part Ways with Eddie Jackson and Cody Whitehair

The Chicago Bears made a surprising announcement on Thursday, revealing that they have decided to release veteran safety Eddie Jackson and guard Cody Whitehair. These two players, who were both drafted by Chicago’s previous front office, were the Bears’ longest-tenured players on their respective sides of the ball. The decision to part ways with Whitehair and Jackson is a significant one, as it marks the end of an era for the Bears franchise.

One of the key reasons cited for the Bears’ decision to release Whitehair and Jackson is the financial implications. The moves are estimated to save Chicago a significant amount against the 2024 salary cap, with approximately $21.5 million being freed up. This financial flexibility will allow the Bears to make other moves and potentially strengthen their roster in other areas.

Cody Whitehair, 31, was drafted by the Bears in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He has been a stalwart presence on the Bears’ offensive line, appearing in 124 games over eight seasons with 118 starts. Whitehair has demonstrated versatility throughout his career, playing both center and guard positions. However, a series of positional changes and a benching in the 2023 season raised questions about his future with the team.

Eddie Jackson, a fourth-round selection in 2017, has been a key contributor to the Bears’ defense over the past seven seasons. He started all 100 games he appeared in and earned two Pro Bowl selections and All-Pro honors in 2018. Jackson’s ability to create turnovers and make big plays on defense has been a hallmark of his career. Despite battling foot injuries in recent years, Jackson remained a valuable member of the Bears’ defense.

With the departures of Whitehair and Jackson, the Bears face a significant overhaul of their roster. Notably, the team no longer has any draft picks made before 2020 on their roster, signaling a new era for the franchise. The Bears will need to fill the void left by these veteran players and find new talent to continue their pursuit of success in the NFL.

Overall, the decision to release Eddie Jackson and Cody Whitehair represents a significant shift for the Chicago Bears. While it is always tough to part ways with long-tenured players, the team’s management made a calculated decision based on the financial impact and the need for a fresh start. As the Bears look towards the future, they will need to navigate the challenges of rebuilding their roster and finding the right pieces to build a competitive team.

NFL

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