The Bears on Wednesday re-signed guard Eric Kush to a two-year contract.
Kush appeared in eight games with four starts last year in his first season with the Bears after being claimed off waivers from the Rams following final cuts.
Eric Kush appeared in eight games with four starts in his first season with the Bears.
Kush's four starts in 2016 came in place of injured Pro Bowler Josh Sitton at left guard. The Bears went 2-2 in Kush's starts, including a 20-10 victory over the Vikings in which the offense produced 403 total yards without committing a turnover.
Prior to joining the Bears, Kush played three games with the Chiefs in 2013 and seven contests with the Rams in 2015. He also has spent time with the Buccaneers, Panthers and Texans. The 6-4, 315-pounder was selected by the Chiefs in the sixth round of the 2013 draft.
Kush's signing leaves 27 Bears players who are due to become free agents when the new league year begins March 9. The 17 unrestricted free agents are set to include receivers Alshon Jeffery, Marquess Wilson and Deonte Thompson, quarterbacks Matt Barkley and Brian Hoyer, guard Ted Larsen, outside linebacker Sam Acho and kicker Connor Barth.
The others are tackle Mike Adams, tight end Logan Paulsen, cornerback Johnthan Banks, offensive linemen Nick Becton and Matt McCants, defensive back Brandon Boykin, safety Chris Prosinski, defensive end Cornelius Washington and nose tackle C.J. Wilson.
Two restricted free agents will be defensive back Demontre Hurst and inside linebacker Christian Jones. And seven exclusive free agents will be receiver Joshua Bellamy, tight end Daniel Brown, defensive back Bryce Callahan, quarterbacks David Fales and Connor Shaw, linebacker Danny Mason and long-snapper Patrick Scales.
Unrestricted free agents are free to sign with any NFL team without any draft choice compensation owed to the original club; restricted free agents can sign an offer sheet with another team but their original team has the opportunity to match it or receive draft pick compensation; and exclusive free agents can only negotiate and sign with their own team.
Beginning Wednesday and continuing through March 1, NFL teams can place a franchise tag on one free agent-to-be. Jeffery is believed to be the Bears' only potential candidate for the designation, but it is unclear whether they will tag the veteran receiver for the second straight season. If they do, Jeffery would be guaranteed $17.5 million for the 2017 season.