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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, March 01, 2018 1:00 am

NFL

Bears set to release QB Glennon

News services

INDIANAPOLIS – In the least surprising news of the Bears' offseason, general manager Ryan Pace revealed Wednesday morning that the team will be releasing quarterback Mike Glennon on the first day of the NFL's new league year in March.

Pace, speaking to Chicago reporters at the league's scouting combine, also revealed that the Bears are releasing outside linebacker Willie Young, another veteran dismissal that highlights the team's ongoing transition.

Glennon was signed to a three-year deal with $18.5 million guaranteed last spring but struggled mightily in his four starts for the Bears. He had eights turnovers, four touchdown passes and a 76.9 rating during the Bears' 1-3 start and was supplanted by rookie Mitch Trubisky in Week 5. Pace and the Bears had structured Glennon's contract with a convenient exit hatch – only a $2.5 million roster bonus was guaranteed to the veteran quarterback after 2017 – and will now move on as expected.

Now Glennon will again be looking for work when his exit from Chicago becomes official March 14.

Pace was asked Wednesday about the whiff on Glennon.

“As we've said, we were going to be aggressive at that position,” Pace said. “We were going to take swings at that position and be aggressive at the most important position in sports. The thing that stands out as I look back (on Glennon's benching) is it was really Mitch's acceleration, too. So it was kind of twofold. I can just sit back now and be happy that, hey, we have a guy we feel good about, a young quarterback that we want to build around.”

The release of Young was expected to be finalized Wednesday. Young, who had 26 sacks over four seasons with the Bears and missed the final 12 games last season with a torn triceps muscle, is the latest veteran defender to be shown the door. Earlier this month, the Bears also released inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman and safety Quintin Demps.

Forte retires

Running back Matt Forte has announced his retirement from playing after 10 NFL seasons.

Forte, 32, who spent his first eight seasons with Chicago, dealt with knee issues the past two seasons. He had a career-low 381 yards rushing on just 103 carries and ran for two touchdowns last season. He also had 37 catches for 293 yards and one TD.

With the Bears from 2008-15, Forte established himself as one of the game's most versatile running backs. His 9,796 yards rushing rank him 33rd on the NFL's career list. He also had 554 receptions.

Extra points

Carolina released running back Jonathan Stewart, who became the franchise's career rushing leader in 2017, finishing with 7,318 rushing yards. ... The New York Jets  released defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, ending the one-time Pro Bowl selection's stint with the team that drafted him in the first round in 2011.