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The Bear’s Den, February 21, 2018

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Spring Housecleaning is underway in Chicago, as Sitton & Freeman are swept out of Halas Hall.

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Minnesota Vikings v Chicago Bears
Danny Trevathan #59 and Jerrell Freeman #50 of the Chicago Bears break up a pass intended for Matt Asiata #44 of the Minnesota Vikings during the fourth quarter of their game at Soldier Field on October 31, 2016 in Chicago
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

BEAR DOWN, CHICAGO BEARS, BEAR DOWN!!!!

NOT GOING TO BE A BEAR UNLESS A VERY UNLIKELY TRADE HAPPENS

Dolphins place franchise tag on Jarvis Landry - NFL.com - The Miami Dolphins are doing their best to keep Jarvis Landry with the franchise. The Dolphins have placed the franchise tag on the wide receiver, the team announced.

BEARRRSSSS / DRAFT / FREE AGENCY

Cahill: John Fox says Bears are 'closer than people think' - Chicago Sun-Times - Former Bears coach John Fox believes the franchise is in a much better position now than when he arrived.

Finley: Bears release Jerrell Freeman, LB with two PED busts - Chicago Sun-Times - The Bears released linebacker Jerrell Freeman, who in October was busted for his second violation of the NFL's performance enhancing drug policy.

Finley: Bears' Deiondre' Hall gets 6 months' probation after March bar fight - Chicago Sun-Times - Bears defensive back Deiondre’ Hall received six months’ probation earlier this month after pleading guilty.

Chicago Bears release Jerrell Freeman after two seasons - ESPN - The Bears have released linebacker Jerrell Freeman, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Freeman was suspended twice -- for a total of 14 games -- during his two-year tenure in Chicago.

Biggs' Roster Rundown: Tarik Cohen provided needed spark on special teams - Chicago Tribune - The Bears got a real boost in the return game from rookie running back Tarik Cohen in 2017 but the kicking game remained a jumbled mess in Year 2 without Robbie Gould. All of the team's specialists are coming out of contract making it an interesting year for the new coaching staff.

Biggs: Roster rebuild begins - Bears cut LB Jerrell Freeman - Chicago Tribune - In the first of what is expected to be many cuts, the Bears on Tuesday informed veteran inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman he will be released.

Bears cornerback Deiondre' Hall pleads guilty in Iowa bar fight - Chicago Tribune - Deiondre' Hall and Green Bay Packers defensive back Makinton Dorleant

Biggs: Bears decline 2018 option on guard Josh Sitton, who says he has 'prime years' left in his career - Chicago Tribune - The Bears informed veteran left guard Josh Sitton they have declined the 2018 option in his contract, making him a free agent. Sitton believes he has prime years remaining in his contract and will seek a new team in free agency.

Tidwell: Vic Fangio - Chicago Bears 'God MC' - Da Bears Brothers - Fangio is one of the best defensive coordinators in the league. What needs to happen for him to achieve the same level of greatness he had in San Francisco?

Finley: Bears start 2018 construction by letting Josh Sitton, Jerrell Freeman walk | Chicago Sun-Times - The Bears began shaping their 2018 team Tuesday by making their most difficult roster decision, as well as their easiest, in the span of a few hours.

Finley: Bears to decline Josh Sitton's option, leaving Pro Bowl guard a free agent - Chicago Sun-Times - The Bears are letting one of their few Pro Bowl players walk.

Stankevitz: With Josh Sitton on his way out, what’s next for the Bears’ offensive line? - NBC Sports Chicago - The Bears will have some options, both in free agency and the NFL Draft, to go younger and cheaper in replacing Josh Sitton.

Bears cut ties with linebacker Jerrell Freeman - NBC Sports Chicago - The Bears began their slew of offseason moves by releasing inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Stankevitz: The Bears have options but no easy decisions on tagging Kyle Fuller - NBC Sports Chicago - The Bears' window to place the franchise tag on Kyle Fuller opened Tuesday, but expect Ryan Pace to take his time deciding whether or not to apply it to the impending free agent cornerback.

Emma: Bears To Decline $8 Million Team Option On Guard Josh Sitton - CBS Chicago - The Bears appear primed to turn to a younger option at guard.

LeGere: Chicago Bears cut twice-suspended LB Freeman, creating $3.5 million in cap savings - Pro Football Weekly - Freeman can still play but appeared in just 13 combined games with Bears

LeGere: Chicago Bears positional analysis: Defensive Line - Pro Football Weekly - Hicks and Goldman form makings of excellent D-line, but Bears could still seek reinforcements

LeGere: Chicago Bears reportedly decline former Pro Bowl OG Josh Sitton's 2018 option - Pro Football Weekly - Sitton now becomes a free agent, while the Bears likely have another need to address

Cox: 3 ways Bears could replace Jerrell Freeman - Bears Wire - The Chicago Bears released linebacker Jerrell Freeman, and they have plenty of good options to replace him this offseason. Ken's Note: It's a damned slideshow, be warned.

Biggs: Ex-Bear Doug Plank after flipping truck - 'Your life flashes in front of you' - Chicago Tribune - Former Bears safety Doug Plank, the man Buddy Ryan's 46 defense was named after, is recovering after a serious vehicle accident in Arizona. Plank flipped his truck multiple times.

Stankevitz' 2017 Bears position grades: Outside Linebacker - NBC Sports Chicago - What grade are the Bears getting for their outside linebackers and how badly does the team need to improve on them?

Cox: Bears free up cap space for free agency with Freeman, Sitton moves - Bears Wire
The Chicago Bears freed up significant salary cap space by moving on from Jerrell Freeman and Josh Sitton.

Perez: 3 ways Bears could replace Josh Sitton - Bears Wire - A look at three options the Chicago Bears can consider to replace starting guard Josh Sitton. Ken's Note: It's a damned slideshow, be warned.

Mayer: Legacy Payton left 'speaks volumes' - ChicagoBears.com - The legacy of Bears Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton is featured in a brief video celebrating Black History Month on NFL.com.

Freeman 'faces very long odds' to return to NFL - ESPN Video - Jeff Dickerson explains the difficulties LB Jerrell Freeman could have finding another job in the NFL after being released by the Chicago Bears.

Wood: Building a WR Profile for Chicago’s New Offense - Da Bears Blog - The Combine approaches in a few weeks in Indianapolis, and with it an obsession over everything that can be measured. Height. Weight. Hand size. Three-cone. Jumping ability. Speed. Everybody will soon be discussing 40 times like they make the difference between a good and bad football player. Before we get a bunch of data from the Combine, let’s take a look at which measurables might matter, specifically at wide receiver.

Knoblach: Bears declining to pick up Josh Sitton's contract option - NFL.com - Veteran offensive guard Josh Sitton will get another chance to test the free-agent market next month. The Chicago Bears are declining to pick up Sitton's $8 million contract option for 2018.

Report: Bears won’t pick up Josh Sitton’s option – ProFootballTalk - The Bears may be closer to winning than some people think, but it seems they don't think guard Josh Sitton is going to help them over the finish line. Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL Media report that the Bears will not exercise their option on Sitton's contract for the 2018 season.

POLISH SAUSAGE

Charles Davis mock draft 1.0: Bengals land QB of future - NFL.com - The Bengals' selection of a quarterback is one of the surprises in Charles Davis' first mock of the 2018 NFL Draft. Have a look at his forecast for Round 1.

Rank's Unpopular Opinions: Kirk Cousins, Browns perfect for each other - NFL.com - Adam Rank explains why Cleveland is the perfect place for Kirk Cousins ... and why the Browns should go all in on the top free-agent quarterback, as opposed to drafting a signal-caller.

Florio: Team-by-team look at potential tag candidates – ProFootballTalk - On Tuesday, the annual two-week window opens for applying franchise or transition tags. Every year, we look at the potential tag candidates, on a team-by-team basis.

Florio: Tag window is officially open – ProFootballTalk - It's Tuesday, February 20. Which means the tag window is officially open. Every team has the ability to use the franchise tag or the transition tag, from now through March 6 at 4:00 p.m. ET.

KNOW THY ENEMY

2018 NFL mock draft: Packers trade back and still land impact defenders - Acme Packing Company - If the Packers land Josh Jackson and Marcus Davenport in a trade-down scenario, not many fans will complain.

Reisman: Don’t be so sure edge rusher is a high priority for the Detroit Lions - Pride Of Detroit - The Lions need a pass rusher, but history tells us they may not spend prime resources on one.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRON

Wiltfong: Chicago Bears release Jerrell Freeman - Windy City Gridiron - As first reported by Pro Football Talk, the Chicago Bears have released inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman who had one more year left on the three year contract he signed in 2016.

Zeglinski: Kyle Fuller and The Art Of The Deal - Windy City Gridiron - As the window to franchise tag Fuller opens today, the Bears face a fork in the road with many directions regarding their star cornerback.

Zeglinski: Bears decline Josh Sitton's 2018 option - Windy City Gridiron - The 31-year-old guard will officially hit the open market as the Bears elect to go younger with their offensive line.

Link's Layman’s Guide to Bears Free Agency: Backup QB - Windy City Gridiron - Have you ever gone into free agency and hear scores of names but aren’t quite sure who these players are? Well, you’re not alone.

JomothePrep: Saquon Barkley - Windy City Gridiron - If Chubb, Fitzpatrick and Nelson are all gone by 8 and Barkley is there, can you really pass on him? I know we have Howard and Cohen but really. He is in the top 4 players in the...

x160630: 2018 NFL Name Draft - Windy City Gridiron - Seemingly every year after a grueling season of talking about football we like to peruse the occasional list to remind us of things yet to come, such as top free agent lists to top draft prospect...

PowerTool: 2018 QB Situation Predictions - Windy City Gridiron - At this early stage of the offseason, I take a crack at the starting signal callers for all 32 teams in 2018.

WCG CONTRIBUTORS BEARS PODCASTS & STREAMS

2 Minute Drill - Website - iTunes - Andrew Link; Steven’s StreamingTwitch – Steven Schweickert; T-Formation Conversation - Website - iTunes - Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; WCG Radio - Website - Robert Zeglinski

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