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Report: Bears to decline Kevin White’s fifth-year option

Injury issues leading to four career starts for White made this an easy move for the Bears.

NFL: Preseason-Denver Broncos at Chicago Bears
Kevin White will become a free agent at the end of the 2018 season.
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears will not pick up the fifth-year option of Kevin White, reports NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.

White, who will be 26-years-old in June, was selected by Chicago with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Coming out of West Virginia, his combination of size, speed, and production had scouts incredibly high on him leading up to the draft.

However, a series of severe injuries seriously derailed White’s momentum. A stress fracture in his shin caused him to miss the entirety of his rookie season. He played in four games in 2016, but was sidelined after fracturing his fibula. He only played for a portion of the Bears’ Week 1 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons in 2017 before fracturing his left shoulder blade.

In the three seasons he has been in the NFL, White has only played in five games. In that span, he has a grand total of 21 receptions for 193 receiving yards and no touchdowns.

This decision does not come as a surprising one for Chicago, as White has yet to prove that he is worthy of the high first-round selection the Bears used on him. Considering the fact that picking up his option would nearly cost the team $14 million in 2019, it was essentially a no-brainer to decline his option.

With his fourth season ahead of him, White could potentially end up having a season like teammate Kyle Fuller did in 2017 after the Bears chose to not pick up his fifth-year option last year. However, given his inability to stay on the field thus far in his career, that’s wishful thinking at this point.