If the Green Bay Packers wish to improve their offensive line through free agency, they will soon have a familiar face to consider. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Chicago Bears plan to decline their 2018 option for Josh Sitton, the veteran guard who played in Green Bay from 2008 through 2015.
In his two years with the Bears, Sitton played in 26 out of a possible 32 games and served as a team captain. He also earned a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2016 despite minimal help from the other members of Chicago’s offensive line (Kyle Long missed half the season while the unit broke in rookie Cody Whitehair at center).
Though Sitton played well, the Bears decided to part ways to clear room for a yet-to-be acquired successor, perhaps a guard in the incoming rookie class. The move saved Chicago just over $7.9 million in cap room offset by a mere $666,668 in dead money.
The Packers have a void at guard entering the offseason. Jahri Evans, the veteran lineman signed one day before the 2017 NFL Draft, becomes a free agent and turns 35 in August. Though Sitton has declined since leaving Green Bay, he remains one of the best pass protectors among interior linemen and would represent a significant upgrade over Evans. Though the Packers don’t frequently return former players, a reunion with Sitton makes some sense for all parties involved.