The Chicago Bears are planning to release left tackle Charles Leno, the seven-year veteran confirmed Monday.
“My time in Chicago has officially come to an end,” Leno posted on Twitter. “It’s a bittersweet day but I am excited to see where this next chapter takes me.”
Leno, 29, started 93 consecutive games over the past six seasons with the Bears but became expendable when the team picked Oklahoma State’s Teven Jenkins in the second round of the NFL draft on Friday.
Leno, a seventh-round longshot drafted 246th overall in 2014, played in 102 games overall (94 starts) for Chicago. He didn’t miss a snap in four of the past five seasons, and he played 99 percent of the snaps during his Pro Bowl season in 2018.
“I will always be rooting for the young guys to succeed in the league,” Leno wrote on Twitter. “That was me years ago. This is just part of the business. Thanks Bears fans.”
Leno carried an $11.3 million cap hit for the 2021 season, per Spotrac. According to NFL Network, his release will be designated as a post-June 1 cut, which will free up $9 million in cap space and leave only $2.3 million in dead money.