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Bears release linebacker Sam Acho

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The pass rusher spent four seasons with the team.

Chicago Bears v Minnesota Vikings
Sam Acho’s tenure with the Bears has come to an end—for now.
Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears have released outside linebacker Sam Acho, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The move will clear up just under $2 million in cap space.

Acho was signed to a one-year, $840,000 deal in 2015 after having spent the first four seasons of his career with the Arizona Cardinals. The Bears signed him to two more one-year deals before giving him a two-year, $5.5 million contract last offseason. During his time with the team, Acho tallied 111 tackles, four sacks and three forced fumbles. He played in 51 games in that tenure, starting 25 of them. His 2018 season was cut short due to a torn pectoral in the fourth week of the year.

While Acho served as a valuable special teams player and solid depth as a pass rusher, it was his contributions off the field that made him such a valuable member of the Bears’ organization. A two-time nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, Acho’s philanthropic role in the community and personality has made him as positive influence in the team’s locker room. He founded the Bears’ social justice committee, served as Vice President of the NFLPA’s executive committee, and took annual mission trips overseas to Nigeria, cementing himself as one of the league’s most charitable players.

There remains a chance that Acho may be brought back to the team on a cheaper deal, much like Marcus Cooper was last offseason. Regardless of whether or not the Bears choose to bring him back, he leaves them having left an impact both on and off the field.