AP Sources: Bears decline option on Sitton, release Freeman

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) The Chicago Bears are parting with veteran guard Josh Sitton and linebacker Jerrell Freeman.

Two people familiar with the situation said Tuesday the Bears have decided to decline their option on Sitton for next season and release Freeman. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the moves.

A four-time Pro Bowl lineman, the 31-year-old Sitton spent the past two seasons in Chicago after an eight-year run with Green Bay. He signed with the Bears after the Packers released him just before the 2016 season. Sitton dealt with rib and ankle injuries last season and missed three games.

The 31-year-old Freeman suffered a season-ending pectoral injury in the opener last year and was suspended for violating the league’s policy against performance-enhancing drugs in each of his two seasons with the Bears. The second violation resulted in a 10-game suspension in late October.

Freeman said on Twitter at the time that he also suffered a potentially career-ending concussion in the opener, providing context to the drug violation. He said he downplayed the severity of his head injury to family and friends.

Freeman led Chicago with 110 tackles in 2016 despite serving a four-game suspension for his first violation. He played for Indianapolis from 2012-15.

The Bears went 5-11 last season and finished last in the NFC North for the fourth straight year. Chicago fired coach John Fox and replaced him with Matt Nagy.

NFL Network first reported the Bears are declining Sitton’s option, while Pro Football Talk was first with the news on Freeman.

More AP NFL: https://Hometeaminsider.com and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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