The Bears are shaking up their offensive line, having informed four-time Pro Bowl left guard Josh Sitton they will decline the 2018 option in his contract.
That makes Sitton, 31, a free agent in search of his third team after two seasons with the Bears and a successful run in Green Bay.
“I am planning on playing and hitting free agency and continuing to play at a high level,” Sitton said. “I believe I have prime years left.”
General manager Ryan Pace called Sitton on Tuesday to inform him of the club’s decision, which comes after news the team is terminating the contract of inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman.
“We had a great conversation and we talked about how we enjoyed each other’s company and our time together, and it was a very positive conversation,” Sitton said.
The Bears had until March 9, five days before the new league year begins, to make a decision on Sitton’s $8 million option. Now he gets a head start on free agency.
“I’m not sure (the timing of) it really would have mattered at the end of the day,” Sitton said. “It allows other teams to know I am going to be out there, so I guess I appreciate it.”
Sitton said the injured ankle that sidelined him for the final two games of the regular season is fully healed. Signed just before the 2016 season after the Packers surprisingly released him, Sitton was selected to the Pro Bowl as an alternate after that season.
Bears decline 2018 option on guard Josh Sitton, who says he has 'prime years' left in his career
Chicago Tribune | Feb 21