UPDATE: It’s officially official.
Thank you Sam Acho for all you have given to the Bears on and off the football field. pic.twitter.com/vSLOhVpN3A
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) March 5, 2019
Our original post follows below:
One of the Bears’ more underrated players is on his way out the door:
The #Bears are releasing LB Sam Acho, source said. Solid backup LB and special teamer.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 5, 2019
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports the Bears are releasing linebacker Sam Acho. The move isn’t official yet, but when it goes down, it will clear $2.125 worth of salary cap space. It’s not a landscape-shifting move by any means, but OverTheCap.com’s calculations now project the Bears to have $15,246,141 in available cap space this offseason.
Acho, 30, spent the last four seasons with the Bears and was one of the team’s better depth contributors. He was a key special teams contributor who was good at defending the run from the outside linebacker spot. Acho was also a sure-handed tackler and a locker-room leader whose veteran presence provided a positive influence. Beyond that, he was a popular community activist, part of a group of Bears players who spearheaded the franchise’s “all-in” efforts on social justice programs and was the team’s Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award winner in 2017.
Clearing cap space is a priority for the Bears right now, but I wouldn’t rule out a return to Chicago for Acho after the dust settles after the first wave of free agency. Between his value to the locker room and presence in the community, it might serve the Bears well to keep Acho in mind once they check off boxes elsewhere on their to-do list.