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Chicago Bears 2019 Roster Turnover: Cody Whitehair, center of the future!

In this 13 part series we’ll take an in depth look at each position group for the Chicago Bears with an eye towards the 2019 season. We’ll speculate on who stays, who goes, and some potential additions we’d like to see general manager Ryan Pace make.

NFL: Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Cody Whitehair - Signed though 2019 - I would expect the Chicago Bears to extend Whitehair’s contract as soon as it’s financially possible. He’s started all 48 games (mostly at center) in his three year career and made his first Pro Bowl in 2018. He’s been an above average player his entire time in Chicago and I think the “move Cody to guard” talk should finally be put to rest.

Eric Kush - Free agent - Kush started 7 games after missing all of the 2017 season. I think he’s a quality backup that can play three positions and I’d like to see the Bears bring him back. His last contract was a 2 year, $2.7 million deal, and at 29-years old I would expect him to look for something similar. The Bears may elect to roll with Bryan Witzman as their swing guard instead of Kush, but I think Kush’s ability to play center is more valuable. If they let Kush go that tells me they have another option for backup center.

Dejon Allen - Signed to a reserve/future deal - Allen was mostly a tackle in college, but reports had him moving to center last offseaosn. The Bears officially list him at tackle, but at 6’3”, 290 pounds, he’d be a very small OT. My guess is the interior of the o-line is where he works most, but regardless, he’s a long-shot to make the 53-man roster in 2019.

2019 OUTLOOK - The one omission from this article is James Daniels, who played center at Iowa, but started 10 games for the Bears at left guard. I’m assuming that moving forward Daniels’ will be entrenched at guard, and with the way he performed I can’t say I’d blame the Bears for leaving him there. But if the Bears don’t address backup center that would leave Daniels as the odds on favorite to kick inside if an injury befalls Whitehair.

And that’s something I’d disagree with.

Your starting five should be left to play their positions unless there’s an injury emergency. Moving a starter over to fill in for an injured starter only to have the backup come in for the guy replacing the injured guy is too much. If Kush is too expensive to bring back as the C/G, then find someone you’re comfortable with to fill that role.

If the Bears are looking for a day three prospect, perhaps going back to Iowa for Keegan Render would be the way to go. He played guard before taking over at center for the aforementioned James Daniels.

What do you guys think the Bears will do at backup center in 2019?