2. Could Chicago Bears have done more with Cody Whitehair and his salary?
One of the big reasons that Chicago Bears fans thought that the team would draft a center is Ryan Poles claiming Cody Whitheair could start at center. Beyond being at left guard for the past few years, Whitehair is now getting older, and injuries are catching up to him.
A lot of people thought he would be cut, and now here he is starting at center. Still, the question may be less about Whitheiar and more about the opportunity cost that was lost. Whitehair being released would save the Chicago Bears $10M.
Names that signed for $5M or less include Nick Gates, Garrett Bradbury, Nate Herbig, Jake Brendel, Daniel Brunskill, Graham Glasgow, Evan Brown, Wes Schweitzer, and Jon Feliciano. This is not even saying that these names are better than Whitehair. What it is saying is that the Chicago Bears could have cut Whitehair, and signed two, and possibly even three of these players for the price of Whitehair.
Nick Gates, Evan Brown, and Glasgow combined would cost about the same as Cody Whitehair this season. Nobody is saying that one of them is clearly better, but would you want the one player or the depth of all three? It is more about the opportunity cost that was lost by trusting someone who may be at the edge and injury status where you would rather have the depth.