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Bears decline Josh Sitton's 2018 option

The 31-year-old guard will officially hit the open market as the Bears elect to go younger with their offensive line.

Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

After having time to deliberate, the Bears have elected to decline Josh Sitton's option for the 2018 season and he will become a free agent, as first reported by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

Had Sitton returned, the Bears would've paid the soon to be 32-year-old a little over $8 million dollars. Evidently enough, that was never in the cards as Chicago now looks to retool its offensive line with new offensive line coach Harry Hiestand in the fold.

Sitton's absence creates an abundance of questions of which the Bears can elect to answer in a variety of ways. Perhaps 2017 fifth-pick Jordan Morgan is in line to be a starter. There will be talk of the pricey Andrew Norwell in free agency. Naturally, the Hiestand Notre Dame and Quenton Nelson connection will also be made. None of which addresses the questions of where Cody Whitehair will play.

But this is posturing and speculation for now.

As Sitton tries to find a new NFL home in his career twilight, the Bears begin what might merely be the start of a radically overhauled offensive line in 2018.

Robert Zeglinski is the Bears beat writer for The Rock River Times, an editor for Windy City Gridiron, and is a contributor to The Athletic Chicago. You can follow him on Twitter @RobertZeglinski.