The Bears are releasing veteran OLB Sam Acho, an expected move that will create roughly $2 million in cap relief.
Acho, 30, suffered a season-ending torn pectoral muscle in Week 4 after signing a two-year, $5.5 million deal last spring on the heels of his best of four years with the team in 2017. Acho was the Bears' NFLPA rep, key special-teams stalwart and top reserve outside linebacker under contract, with Aaron Lynch expected to hit the open market when the new league year opens March 13. Acho also was among the Bears' most active members in the community and was on the team's nine-person social-justice committee to raise money for various nonprofit organizations throughout the city.
That last part is key, as it means the Bears currently have one of the NFL's best 1-2 OLB punches in football with Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd but virtually nothing behind the Pro Bowlers with two-year vet Isaiah Irving and rookie Kylie Fitts combining for 26 games (0 starts) and 1 sack.
The release of Acho creates $2.1 million in cap relief for the Bears, who began Tuesday with only $16 million in space, according to overthecap.com. The NFL set the 2019 salary cap at $188.2 million.