Could the Giants target Bears’ recently-cut offensive lineman in free agency?

Chicago Bears offensive lineman Cody Whitehair, New York Giants
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears cut veteran OL Cody Whitehair on Thursday afternoon, adding another potential target for the New York Giants to the 2024 free agent market. The Giants will be seeking reinforcements on the offensive line this offseason after their unit surrendered a league-high 85 sacks in 2023. Whitehair could be a potential addition for Big Blue on the interior.

Could the Giants sign OL Cody Whitehair in free agency?

Releasing Whitehair was a cap-saving move for Chicago. The Bears opened up roughly $32 million in cap space by cutting both Whitehair and veteran safety Eddie Jackson on Thursday. Whitehair now enters a crowded free agency market for interior offensive linemen, giving the Giants yet another option to consider this offseason.

Whitehair was cut following what was the worst-graded season of his career in 2023. The 31-year-old posted a 45.0 overall Pro Football Focus grade this past season, easily the lowest mark of his career. He started only 11 games in 2023, getting benched midway through the campaign. He finished the year with 22 total pressures and three sacks allowed.

Signing Whitehair would not be a solution for the Giants to fix their offensive line this offseason. At best, Whitehair could provide Big Blue with some veteran depth up front. He has started games at both left guard and center in his career. The Giants value positional versatility, especially from their backups. For that reason, Whitehair could make sense as a depth signing, but not much more.

Whitehair will be 32 years old by the time the 2024 season begins. Coming off the worst season of his career, it seems evident that Whitehair’s best playing days are behind him. At one time in his career, Whitehair was among the NFL’s best interior offensive linemen. But his PFF grade has steadily declined in every season since he was drafted in 2016.

The Giants need to fix their offensive line this offseason and they need to find a new starter at left guard in order to achieve that goal. However, Whitehair should not be considered a starter at this stage in his career.

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