The Chicago Bears have reportedly declined veteran offensive guard Josh Sitton’s $8 million option, sources confirmed to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
The Bears are reportedly looking to get younger at the guard position, according to the report. Sitton, 31, will test the free agency market for the second time in three years.
The Bears signed the veteran offensive guard after he was released by the Green Bay Packers prior to the 2016 regular season. Sitton was a Pro Bowler during his first season in Chicago, but battled injuries, missing seven games during each of the past two seasons, including three in 2017.
Sitton is a four-star and won a Super Bowl as a member of the Packers during the 2010-11 season.
The Bears reportedly have $41, 217,467 in cap space, according to OverTheCap.com, but have clearly decided to make changes in the trenches.
Cody Whitehair, who was selected in the second-round of the 2016 NFL Draft, was moved to center after the team signed Sitton and was exceptional during his rookie season, but regressed at the position in 2017.
The move also puts pressure on three-time Pro Bowler Kyle Long to return to former after missing numerous games during each of the past two seasons.
According to 247Sports, the Bears could be expected to target Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.