The Chicago Bears made a move on Tuesday morning as they released veteran linebacker Jerrell Freeman according to ProFootballTalk.
Bears have released LB @JerrellFreeman per source.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) February 20, 2018
General manager Ryan Pace made the right move here. Freeman played in just one game after suffering a pectoral injury in week one. To make matters worse, he was also suspended by the NFL for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy. It was actually the second consecutive year Freeman was suspended for the use of PEDs.
With Danny Trevathan and Nick Kwiatkoski, the Bears felt like they could make this move. Sure, they will need to bring in a few linebackers to replace Freeman, but they couldn’t afford to wait on him while he gets back on the right track. Don’t be surprised if Freeman gets more interest on the open market than Brian Cushing.
Despite the last two seasons, Freeman has been a fairly consistent linebacker in the NFL. I fully expect him to have signed with a team by the time training camp rolls around.
As for the Bears, their future at the linebacker position is now tied to Kwiatkoski and Christian Jones. Jones’ strong performance in 2018 could have played into why the Bears decided to cut Freeman. The Bears will still need to sign Jones, but after today’s move, it’s hard to imagine a deal not getting done.
Let’s not forget that Vic Fangio’s defense is much better with two inside linebackers making plays. There may not be room for a middle linebacker based on the scheme Fangio runs. Still, the Bears will need to add depth to the position and that starts with Jones and ends with the NFL draft.
At the end of the day, the Bears save some money while opening the door for Kwiatkoski and Jones. Bears fans can only hope that quarterback Mike Glennon is the next player to get the boot.
Keep a look out for our in-depth piece breaking down the release of Jerrell Freeman