Chicago Bears parting ways with guard Josh Sitton and linebacker Jerrell Freeman

The Chicago Bears are parting ways with veteran guard Josh Sitton and linebacker Jerrell Freeman.

The Bears have decided to decline their $8m option on Sitton for next season and release Freeman.

A four-time Pro Bowl lineman, the 31-year-old Sitton spent the past two seasons in Chicago after an eight-year run with Green Bay.

He played for the Packers from 2008-2015, starting the final 64 consecutive games.

Sitton said he met with general manager Ryan Pace directly. The team had until March 9 to decline the option in Sitton’s contract.

Sitton missed the final two games of the 2017 season with an ankle injury but told the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday that he is 100 per cent healthy entering free agency.

“I am planning on playing and hitting free agency and continuing to play at a high level,” Sitton said. “I believe I have prime years left.”

Freeman, 31, was suspended for 10 games in 2017 for his second violation. He was also suspended for four games in 2016 for his first offense.

He played in just one game last season after tearing a pectoral muscle in the season opener against the Atlanta Falcons.