Bears bounce Bushrod

AP

The Bears have gotten a head start on getting the roster in order for 2016 by clearing out an offensive lineman.

Gone is tackle Jermon Bushrod, released Tuesday by the Bears.

“We thank Jermon for his contributions to the Bears,” G.M. Ryan Pace said in a news release.  “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.”

Signed three years ago as a free agent from the Saints (where Pace previously worked in the front office), Bushrod was due to make $6.4 million in 2016. He has $4.4 million in signing bonus money that has not yet hit the cap; it automatically now will.

Bushrod started 16 games in 2013, 14 in 2014, but only four in 2015. An early season injury resulted in Bushrod losing his starting job to Charles Leno, a seventh-round pick two years ago.