It looks like linebacker Danny Trevathan’s days with the Chicago Bears are numbered.
Trevathan, who turns 32 on March 24, was expected to be a salary cap casualty this offseason, and now, one of the top insiders covering the Bears says his exit is very likely coming.
According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, his release is expected.
“The Bears have more decisions to make,” Biggs wrote on March 11. “Linebacker Danny Trevathan, whose play slipped considerably the last two seasons, is expected to be released. The Bears already are carrying $40 million in dead cap space for 2022, and releasing Trevathan would add more than $8.9 million to that figure, but he simply didn’t have any range last season.”
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Trevathan Should Be Released After June 1
Trevathan signed a three-year contract extension worth $21.75 million in 2020, and if the Bears release him after June 1, they’ll have $3,288,235 in cap savings, per Over the Cap. It would be surprising if the team let him go before that date, as it would cost them $3,205,515.
The veteran linebacker’s deal is structured in one of the worst ways possible. His cap hits increased by the year, and the team will still owe him $6.5 million in 2023 — the year after his contract expired. Analyst Johnathan Wood of Da Bears Blog broke it down succinctly on Twitter:
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Trevathan Hasn’t Seen the Field Much in Recent Years
A large reason Trevathan is likely receiving his walking papers has to do with his lack of productivity due to injury. He has played in just 30 of 49 games over the last three seasons, and considering his hefty cap hits, this was an obvious move for new Bears GM Ryan Poles, who is fresh from arranging a trade that will send superstar pass rusher Khalil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers.
After dealing with a gruesome elbow injury that ended his 2019 campaign after nine games, Trevathan played the full 16 games in 2020 before a nagging knee issue ended his 2021 season after he played in just five games. He finished with 19 tackles (eight solo, one for loss) in what is likely going to be his final season playing for Chicago.
Since arriving via free agency in 2016, Trevathan has played in 67 games for the Bears, starting 62. In that span, he racked up 459 total tackles (310 solo, 19 for loss), 16 QB hits, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, three interceptions and 7.0 sacks.
With the exit of Mack and now Trevathan, it’s clear Poles is going to focus on unloading the hefty contracts belonging to aging veterans while also making the team younger.
“You can’t go halfway if you’re going to tear down a team that has had one winning season in the last nine years,” Biggs noted. “Any player who isn’t deemed to potentially be part of the future when the Bears are ready to contend again should be available or considered for replacement.”