Cody Whitehair

Report: Former Bears center Cody Whitehair signs with Raiders

Details on the deal for the Pro Bowler

NBC Universal, Inc.

Former Bears interior offensive lineman Cody Whitehair is reportedly headed to a new home. The former Pro Bowl center signed a one year, $2.5 million deal with the Raiders, according to Adam Caplan. Per Caplan, Whitehair will receive $1.4 million in guaranteed money, and the deal can reach a maximum of $3 million.

With the move, Whitehair will link back up with former Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy. The Bears fired Getsy this offseason, and he took over the Raiders offense about a month later.

Whitehair spent the first eight seasons of his career in Chicago and moved between guard and center depending on what the team needed at the time. He was one of the most reliable players on the team during his tenure, for both his performances on the field and his durability.

The Bears drafted Whitehair in the second round of the 2016 draft, and he was an immediate starter for the team at center. Whitehair started all 16 games as a rookie and was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team at the end of the year.

Over the next several years, Whitehair showed off the versatility that made him a valuable lineman for the team throughout his career. In 2017, Whitehair once again started in every game of the season, but he did it at three different positions. In 2018, he moved back to center full time and had the best season of his career. According to PFF, Whitehair surrendered no sacks, no hits and just 11 pressures on the year. Whitehair earned Pro Bowl honors in 2018 for his efforts. The Bears voted Whitehair a team captain in 2022.

Whitehair’s durability throughout his Bears tenure was equally impressive as his versatility. Over the first six years of his career, he never missed a game due to injury. Whitehair only missed two games in 2020 due to COVID-19 protocols. In 2022, the injury bug finally bit him and he missed five games due to a knee injury.

In 2023, Whitehair was set to anchor a new-look Bears offensive line at center. However he suffered a hand injury over the summer, and Teven Jenkins went down with two calf injuries, so Whitehair slid over to Jenkins’ left guard spot ahead of the regular season opener. Whitehair eventually moved back to center in Week 5, but he was benched partway through Week 6 after a stretch of poor snaps. Whitehair was relegated to backup duties from Week 11 to the rest of the year. It was the first time in Whitehair’s professional or college career that he was not a part of an offensive line’s first unit.

Given Whitehair’s relegation to the bench– and his outsized contract compared to others on the team– it was widely expected that the Bears would cut ties with him this offseason. They did just that in February, saving $9.146 million in salary cap space in the process.

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