5 Chicago Bears players who won't be back next year

Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 5
Chicago Bears, Cody Whitehair
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

3. The Chicago Bears need one more year from Cody Whitehair

There were discussions this year that the Chicago Bears could move on from Cody Whitehair, save some cap space, and find a center of the future. While they did not do that in the 2023 NFL draft, it is still hard to see them relying on him to be that future man after this season. This year appears to be a placeholder for what may come next.

What had fans confused is that the Chicago Bears are higher on the depth in the room, and not necessarily Whitehair. The team obviously likes Lucas Patrick after signing him last season, and they did not let an injury impact their view of him.

The same can be said of seventh-round pick Doug Kramer. Kramer lost his rookie season due to injury, but the coaching staff thinks he would have been in the mix this year if he did not get banged up. Perhaps a year behind Whitehair's fully healthy could lead to him starting in 2024. Lastly, they mentioned Dieter Eiselen as a name to watch for at center.

This is interesting because while he is a Ryan Pace player, he was at guard during the Matt Nagy years. Luke Getsy has him at center, and now they seem to like his potential a little more.

So, the Bears agree with most fans that the injury and age of Whitehair is starting to catch up and he may not be a long-term option. The disconnect is that they like their three-depth options more than others. If any of these three step up this season, it is obviously over for Whitehair. Even if they do not, Whitehair would have to have a fully healthy, and productive season to return, The Chicago Bears can save about $10 by moving on from him and while they did not make that move this offseason, they seem to think that one more year for Patrick, Kramer, and Eiselen will have them ready.

This could be a farewell tour of sorts for Cody Whitehair with the Chicago Bears.