The Bears on Tuesday released veteran left tackle
After spending his first six NFL seasons with the New Orleans Saints, Bushrod signed with the Bears as a free agent in 2013. He started 30 of 32 games in his first two seasons in Chicago and remained the No. 1 left tackle entering the 2015 campaign.
"We thank Jermon for his contributions to the Bears," said general manager Ryan Pace. "I have so much respect for how he carries himself on and off the field. He was a locker room leader and contributor in helping the younger players on our team grow. We wish him and his family the best as they move forward."
Bushrod started the first three games last season before sustaining a concussion and shoulder injury in a loss to the Seahawks. When he was cleared to play a few weeks later, the Bears opted to stick with his replacement, second-year pro
While Bushrod never won back his starting job, offensive coordinator Adam Gase utilized the 6-5, 320-pounder as an eligible sixth lineman during the second half of the season, a role ironically that Leno filled in 2014 when Bushrod was the starter.
Bushrod was selected by the Saints in the fourth round of the 2007 draft out of Towson. He anchored their line during their Super Bowl-winning season in 2009, started 54 straight games from 2009-12 and was voted to back-to-back Pro Bowls in 2011-12.
Bushrod, who will turn 32 in August, had two years left on his contract. In early January, he told reporters that he wanted to continue his career, either in Chicago or elsewhere.
"Honestly, I've been feeling good," Bushrod said at the time. "I just haven't been able to really put it together like I've wanted to. You just like to be a part [of the team]; win, lose or draw you want to be a part. You want to hang your hat on what you go out there and do. That's my mindset that I'm going to use going forward throughout this thing and I think it's going to buy me another year or two in this league."