For the second straight year, the Chicago Bears are declining to pick up the fifth-year option on a first-round pick.
Sources tell NFL Network insider Mike Garafolo that the Bears will not pick up the fifth-year option on wide receiver Kevin White.
In March, we discussed the decision the Bears were facing regarding whether or not to pick up the option while viewing it through the lens of what we had learned after cornerback Kyle Fuller’s breakout year that came after the Bears declined his fifth-year option. And in April, we learned how costly picking up White’s option would be – a cool $13,924,000. Between the high price of doing business, White’s injury riddled past, and the influx of talent at the position that was added in the offseason, it was only a matter of time before the Bears said “thanks, but no thanks.”
Earlier today, we offered up the idea of White being on the hot seat in what will now be a make-or-break year for Ryan Pace’s first pick as the Bears’ general manager.
In some ways, this decision is similar to the one the Bears made last year when they declined to pick up Fuller’s fifth-year option a year ago at this time. Because time is a flat circle, the Bears are declining to pick up the option on a player who had yet to live up to the first-round hype and whose development was being hindered by injuries. The biggest difference between Fuller and White is the severity of White’s injuries and the amount of time it has caused him to miss.
White has played just 238 snaps over the span of five games in his first three years in the NFL. He has finished each of his first three seasons on injured reserve and hadn’t shown much in terms of production in the handful of games he was able to suit up for and play.
Could history repeat itself with White following in Fuller’s footsteps? Sure. And if it does, Mitch Trubisky and the Bears offense will be the beneficiaries of a pleasant surprise. I just wouldn’t go out of my way to bet on it happening.