Former Chicago Bears captain finds a new home in NFL free agency

Chicago Bears v Seattle Seahawks
Chicago Bears v Seattle Seahawks / Tom Hauck/GettyImages

The 2024 season will mark the first time since 2015 that Cody Whitehair will not be a part of the Chicago Bears offensive line.

Whitehair was drafted by the Bears in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft and served as the team's starting center for the first three seasons of his career before shifting to guard in 2019. Whitehair remained an important veteran on the Bears' offensive line, including serving as a team captain in 2022.

It was last season when it became clear that father time was catching up with Whitehair. Whitehair had the yips while attempting to be a solution for the Bears' need at center while also struggling with his protections while at guard. With Teven Jenkins and Nate Davis serving as the starting guards, Whitehair no longer had a starting spot on the Bears' offensive line, marking the beginning of the end of his time with the team.

Whitehair's release from the Bears was confirmed in February. It's been a struggle for Whitehair to find new employment since. That changed on Monday as Whitehair agreed to a one-year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders.

Cody Whitehair is reuniting with former Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.

In his first season as the offensive coordinator of the Raiders, Luke Getsy is bringing in familiarity as Whitehair will serve as a mentor while Getsy installs his offense.

The Bears, meanwhile, seemingly have replaced Whitehair on the offensive line with Ryan Bates and Coleman Shelton. After giving up a fifth-round pick to the Bills for Bates, the expectation is for the former Chicago Bears' free agency target to get first consideration at being the team's starting center. Depending on what the Bears do with the ninth overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, there is also a chance the team trades back and takes a young center with one of the picks collected.