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Roster Moves: Bears release Eddie Jackson, Cody Whitehair


The Bears on Thursday parted ways with two of their longest tenured players in offensive lineman Cody Whitehair and safety Eddie Jackson.

A 2016 second-round pick out of Kansas State, Whitehair appeared in 124 games with 118 starts over eight seasons with the Bears. He started all 16 games in each of his first three years at center, a position he never played in college.

As a rookie in 2016, Whitehair was moved from guard to center shortly before the start of the regular season after the Bears signed veteran free-agent guard Josh Sitton. Playing a new position in his first NFL game, Whitehair lined up against Texans five-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Vince Wilfork.

Whitehair was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2018 after helping the Bears win the NFC North title with a 12-4 record.

The versatile 6-3, 316-pounder split time between center and guard in 2019-20 before moving to guard full time in 2021-22. Whitehair was switched back to center last offseason but started the first five games at left guard in place of Teven Jenkins, who was sidelined with an injury.

Jackson started all 100 games he played in seven seasons with the Bears, registering 459 tackles, 15 interceptions, 44 pass breakups, 10 forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, 14 tackles-for-loss and 2.0 sacks.

The 2017 fourth-round pick from Alabama is tied with Lance Briggs for third in Bears history with six career defensive touchdowns, trailing only Charles Tillman (9) and Mike Brown (7). Five of Jackson's TDs came in his first two seasons.

The Florida native was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2018 and 2019 and named first-team All-Pro in 2018. After failing to record an interception in 2020 and 2021, Jackson was enjoying a resurgent 2022 campaign when he sustained a season-ending foot injury in a Week 12 game against the Jets. At the time, he led the Bears with 61 tackles, four interceptions, six pass breakups and two forced fumbles—and topped NFC free safeties in Pro Bowl voting.

In 2023, Jackson was limited to 12 games due to a foot injury for the second straight year. He compiled 37 tackles, one interception and five pass breakups.

The only player who has been with the Bears longer than Whitehair and Jackson is long-snapper Patrick Scales, who joined the team in 2015.

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