Chicago Bears: 5 Free agents who won’t return in 2022

NFL Free Agency 2022 - Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images
NFL Free Agency 2022 - Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images /
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Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears 2022 free agents – Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports /

Sam Mustipher, Offensive Line

The makeover of the Chicago Bears offensive line with Sam Mustipher. Mustipher is the center and started out as a feel-good story. He is the underdog who finally did well when given a shot.

With so many bodies going down last season, Mustipher finally got his chance and he played well. In nine games, he gave up one sack and just two pressures. Also, he committed no penalties.

That changed in 2021, however. He committed four penalties so far. Additionally, opposing defenses have been able to put pressure in the middle through him. His play has deteriorated as the season progressed. It’s gotten so bad that he’s having trouble just getting the ball to the quarterback.

There have been a few problematic snaps with him and Justin Fields. Most people chalked it up to the two not having enough snaps together. While that could be true, there are other snaps that don’t fit that narrative.

The last two weeks were rough on Mustipher. In Week 12 against the Detroit Lions, he snapped the ball up into his groin. That wasn’t exactly a pretty sight. In Week 13 against the Arizona Cardinals, he actually snapped the ball without actually snapping the ball. His hand went back the way it was supposed to but he didn’t have the ball in that hand. His play is close to embarrassing.

The Bears have James Daniels and Cody Whitehair who have experience at center. They could move one of them back to center. They also have Teven Jenkins. While most people penciled Jenkins in at left tackle, there was word before the draft that Jenkins might make a better guard.

Mustipher was a good story at the beginning but he’s now in over his head. He won’t return in 2022 if the Bears want to improve the offensive line.