NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears

Cody Whitehair and Eddie Jackson have spent their entire NFL career with the Chicago Bears. Both players will be looking for new teams in 2024, as the Bears announced Thursday that they released Whitehair and Jackson.

Since Whiteheir and Jackson were released now, both are free to sign with any team prior to the start of free agency in March. Jackson, who just turned 30 this past December, started all 100 games for the Bears over the course of seven seasons. Whiteheir, 31, has started in 118 of 124 career games for the team, those six games coming this season. They were the two longest position-tenured players on the roster. 

Jackson has been limited the past two seasons due to foot injuries, playing in just 24 out of a possible 34 games. A first-team All-Pro in 2018, Jackson has 459 tackles, 15 interceptions, 44 passes defensed, 10 forced fumbles and six defensive touchdowns in his seven seasons in Chicago. Jackson is tied with Lance Briggs for third in franchise history with six defensive touchdowns, trailing only Charles Tillman (9) and Mike Brown (7). Five of Jackson's touchdowns came in his first two seasons.

Jackson has allowed 10 passing touchdowns in coverage over the last three seasons, having only five interceptions in that span. Opposing quarterbacks have had a 69.6 passer rating targeting him. 

Whitehair allowed three sacks, 20 pressures, and a 4.6% pressure rate in 438 pass-blocking snaps last season. He started 117 straight games before being benched in favor of Nate Davis

The Bears, already having $67 million in salary cap space, save $9.15 million with the release of Whitehair and $12.6 million with the release of Jackson. Chicago has been working on getting younger this offseason, especially with all the assets the it could receive by either trading the No. 1 pick or Justin Fields.

This is the start of a busy offseason in Chicago.