5 veterans likely in their last season with Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
1 of 5

The Chicago Bears have been undergoing their roster rehaul. It started this year but will drag into next season, especially with the Bears getting more draft picks and salary-cap space that Ryan Poles did not have this season.

With that in mind, there are going to be a few players from the Ryan Pace era who stuck around this year but will be gone by this time next year. Who are some of the most likely names?

5. Cody Whitehair

The tenure of Cody Whitehair is going to be a bit underrated, and there is going to be a factor of what could have been when thinking back on his career. In a perfect world, we could have been looking back at Whitehair as a consistent leader and one of the better Bears who defined the era.

The issue was that the Bears kept tinkering with him and his position. In 2016 he played center, then in 2017, it was center and right guard. In 2018 he was back at center, but in 2019 he was left guard until he had to move back to center. 2020 was the opposite of 2019 with Whitehair going from center back to left guard, and he played 2021 at left guard as well.

Now, the issue with Whitehair is that he is 31 years old, he played through serious injuries in 2020, and his play was not quite back to his prime in 2021. Whitehair is playing left guard for two straight years, which will be for the best. Still, it may be too late for Whitehair, and if he cannot get back to his prime levels, the Bears will have a tough decision.

Whitehair is going to have a $14M cap hit. The Bears will be able to clear about $9.9 next year by moving on from him. If he is valuable next season and they think that a third straight year at left guard will lead to continued success, it will be worth the money. At the same time, they could be looking to move on from Whitehair and bring in their own guy as they revamp the offensive line to one where all five players are well under the age of 30.

That could mean Whitehair finishing his career on a different roster.