Bears To Decline Option For Josh Sitton

The Bears will decline their 2018 option on guard Josh Sitton, meaning he’ll become a free agent next month, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link).Josh Sitton (Vertical)

Sitton had been scheduled to collect $8MM cash in 2018: $7.4MM in base salary, $500K in roster bonus, and $100K in workout bonus. All told, Sitton would have counted for roughly $8.573MM on the Bears’ 2018 salary cap. By declining Sitton’s option, Chicago will create nearly $8MM in additional cap space.

The 31-year-old Sitton originally joined the Bears in 2016 after surprisingly being released by the division rival Packers. Although minor health issues have been a concern, Sitton has been outstanding in the Windy City. Just last season, Sitton ranked as the the fifth-best guard in the league, per Pro Football Focus, and his marks have remained steady throughout the duration of his career.

Going forward, the Bears will have a hole to fill at left guard without Sitton in tow. Chicago has the option of moving 2015 third-round pick Hroniss Grasu to guard, or shifting 2016 second-rounder Cody Whitehair back to guard and allowing Grasu to play the pivot. Alternatively, the Bears might look to replace Sitton with another free agent, or a draft pick who is not yet on the roster.

Although Sitton is over the age of 30, it’s hard to argue he’s not one of the best guards available on the open market. He likely won’t command the sort of years or dollars that Andrew Norwell will, but Sitton could make for a sensible veteran option for a number of clubs with issues along the interior.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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11 comments on “Bears To Decline Option For Josh Sitton

    • fisher40

      Not a chance of that happening. He has much as a chance of going back to GB as lucroy has of going back to the Brewers. Slim and none

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  1. IBFarr

    I’m kinda surprised they let him go, but I get the money issue.

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    • bigjonliljon

      Has to be a money issue. Though they have one of the top ten salary cap money to spend right now. Even before freeing up Glennon’s money once he is cut. I think this is not a good move. Maybe they think they can draft the kid out of ND in first round?

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    • Priggs89

      You get the money issue? Even before this move they were going to be one of the teams with the most money available going into free agency. This move makes absolutely no sense unless they have some big free agent plans and/or are 100% convinced Nelson falls to them in the draft.

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    • justinept

      Little to do with money. Whitehair regressed at center and the team believes he’s better suited at guard. This was done mostly so they could move him.

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  2. mrpadre19

    Jags.
    They need a G it just depends if he will sign a short term reasonable deal.
    Say 2yr/12mil

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  3. axisofhonor25

    First freeman and now Sitton? Freeman was iffy but this decision is baffling to me. The o-line should be a focus to protect trubisky the young quarterback so that he can establish a style and maintain it. We don’t need jay cutler 2.0 because we couldn’t protect him for half of his years. We all saw what injuries to the o-line did to Prescott and he already had one mostly full year under his belt. Whatever gamble they are taking I hope it pays off. But not a good start unless they are drafting a replacement. Thoughts?

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    • Bryzzo2016

      Yeah, I agree. I totally get Freeman, but the Bears already had PLENTY of cap room. I can’t imagine them finding someone better than Sitton to fill that void. I love Whitehair, not sold on Grasu though, not even sort of. Perhaps they’ll sign/draft a stud center and move Whitehair to LG. Otherwise this seems like a bad move.

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      • justinept

        They’ll find a center and move Whitehair. I dont understand why people question this move. The organization loves Whitehair but it was evident that Trubisky is most comfortable out of the shotgun and that Whitehair struggles snapping the ball from that formation.

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  4. Yeah i don’t get it at all, Long constantly injured, unless we’re gonna make a play for Norwell, whivh even that is a longshot as Gettleman, dude that drafted him in Carolina, is expected to make a big push for him in NYG cuz they have no o-line. I used to be a huge fan og Ryan Pace, but these past 2 offseasons have made it clear he’s not ready for the GM position yet. With any luck the Bears will find a way to work Scot McCloughan into the front office before the Browns lock him up. Not likely, but a guy can dream

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