Cody Whitehair, Offensive Lineman
Cody Whitehair has been one of the stalwarts of the offensive line. He has played left guard, went to center, returned to right guard, then to center again, and even played right guard. He has done everything the team asks of him, without complaint, and played very well.
The line is in transition now, however. Poles is rebuilding the line and that means an infusion of younger talent. To do that, he needs to save some money.
Yes, the Bears have about $82.5 million in salary cap space. However, if they part ways with Whitehair, it will give them an additional $9.15 million ($10.25 million if designated post-June 1). Whitehair is no longer a part of the team's future. The additional cap space will allow them to find another lineman and still have money to fill other holes.
These last five games should be an audition for other teams. It is highly doubtful that he will return to the team next season.