Chicago Bears free agent: Defenseman Khari Blasingame returns with 2-year extension

In his second offseason with the Chicago Bears, general manager Ryan Poles has plenty of salary cap space to rebuild a roster that finished 3-14 in 2022.

As the NFL’s new year approaches, allowing free agents to begin signing with new teams, the Tribune will track all of the Bears’ arrivals and departures and provide insight into what it means.

The free agency window will open league-wide on Monday at 11 a.m. Unrestricted free agents can finalize offers when the league’s new year begins Wednesday at 3 p.m.

Here are the latest.

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The Bears are bringing back veteran cornerback Khari Blasingame to a two-year extension, according to his agency.

What does it mean: Blasingame joined the Bears on a one-year deal last season. And while he didn’t get an offensive touch, he remains well-regarded in Halas Hall for his intelligence, work ethic and toughness.

As a blocker, Blasingame contributed to a Bears offense that averaged a league-best 177.3 rushing yards per game while setting a single-season franchise record with 3,014 rushing yards. rolling. It will be interesting to see how his role evolves or expands in 2023 as coordinator Luke Getsy continues to mold the scheme around the players he has.

The Bears have significant work to do to stabilize their offense and need to sort out their backfield plans with David Montgomery in line to hit the open market next week. But Blasingame’s return was a priority. The veteran defensive end spent his first three seasons in Tennessee and will look to carve out a bigger role for himself with the Bears this season.

February 17

Bears release defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad, ESPN reported.

What does it mean: Muhammad signed a two-year, $8 million contract last spring to join coach Matt Eberflus in Chicago. Muhammad, who is entering his seventh NFL season, was coming off a career year with the Indianapolis Colts in 2021 in which he had six sacks and 13 quarterback hits. But he totaled just 21 tackles, one sack, three quarterback hits and a forced fumble in 16 games with the Bears last season.

The Bears were expected to revamp a defensive line that contributed just 20 team sacks. Cutting Muhammad, who will turn 28 in March, saves nearly $4 million in salary cap space and comes in with just $500,000 in dead cap space, according to Spotrac.


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