For the second straight season, the Chicago Bears will decline the fifth-year option of their former first-round pick.
NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Wednesday the Bears won't pick up the 2019 option for receiver Kevin White, per a source informed of the move. The deadline for exercising fifth-year options for 2015 first-round picks is today.
The decision to decline the option was among the most obvious choices of the Bears' offseason. White has played in just five games in his career due to injury. The fifth year on his deal would have been worth $13.9 million, guaranteed for injury. Five games for $13 million aren't numbers that mesh.
In most cases, teams picking up the fifth-year option is a safe move as clubs can get out of the contract scot-free barring a devastating injury. With White's history, it was clear Chicago couldn't take that chance.
White's size, athleticism and run-after-catch ability enticed the Bears to use the No. 7 overall pick on the West Virginia product. Injuries wiped out his entire rookie season, and he's been on the sideline for all but a handful of games. The 25-year-old compiled 21 receptions for 193 yards and zero touchdowns in his three-year career.
The Bears upgraded their receiving corps this season, adding Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and second-round selection Anthony Miller. White will have to fight to earn playing time under Matt Nagy's new staff.
Last year, the Bears declined corner Kyle Fuller's fifth-year option. After making a big leap in 2017, Fuller earned a multiyear deal a season earlier than if Chicago had exercised the option. Fuller was coming off a year-long injury at that time the Bears declined the fifth season. White now hopes to follow in Fuller's footsteps. Given his meager contributions through three years, the Bears would be thrilled if the wideout just stayed healthy throughout 2018.