The Chicago Bears cut offensive tackle Charles Leno Jr. on Monday, per Ian Rapoport. Leno is another cap casualty due to the Bears minimal cap space.
Chicago selected Charles Leno in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Since then, he has outperformed expectations, starting 95 straight games since 2014 and being a Pro Bowl alternate in 2018.
Despite his long tenure with the Bears, this move was somewhat necessary. Leno struggled last year in pass protection and has an expensive contract. According to Spotrac, Chicago will save over $9 million by releasing Leno after June 1. The Bears need that money, as they only have around $400 thousand in cap space, not enough to sign all of their rookies.
The Bears made sure to shore up the line despite Leno’s release in this offseason, via free agency and the draft. They signed tackles Elijah Wilkinson and Germain Ifedi. Then, in the second round, the Bears drafted pro-ready tackle Teven Jenkins out of Oklahoma State. With their fifth round pick, they selected tackle Larry Borom out of Missouri, who has the potential to be a starter down the road.
Jenkins will likely take Leno’s spot at left tackle, leaving right tackle to Ifedi or Wilkinson for the upcoming season. The hope is Larry Borom will develop to be able to take over the right tackle spot in the future..
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