By Chris Emma–

INDIANAPOLIS (670 The Score) — As expected, the Bears will release reserve quarterback Mike Glennon at the start of the new league year that comes March 14, general manager Ryan Pace said at the NFL Combine on Wednesday.

The move will clear $11.5 million more for the Bears in salary cap space. Glennon will walk away with $18.5 million in what turned out to be a disastrous four-game stint as the Bears’ starting quarterback last season. Glennon had five interceptions and fumbled three times in those four games before rookie Mitchell Trubisky was elevated to be the starting quarterback.

Pace and the Bears have informed Glennon of the decision, a move that won’t become official until the start of the league new year due to a contract mechanism.

“We were going to be aggressive at that position,” Pace said of signing Glennon. “We were going to take swings at that position and be aggressive at the most important position in sports. There are multiple factors that go into that. The thing that stands out as I look back is it was really Mitch’s acceleration, too, so it was kind of two-fold. I can just sit back now and be happy that, hey, we have a guy we feel good about, a young quarterback that we want to build around.”

The Bears will also release edge rusher Willie Young, Pace said. The Bears’ evaluation of the futures of cornerback Marcus Cooper and receiver Markus Wheaton, who both had disappointing 2017 campaigns, is ongoing, Pace added.

The team is also exploring contract extensions for safety Adrian Amos and nose tackle Eddie Goldman, while Pace said that dialogue is ongoing with cornerback Kyle Fuller’s party on a contract extension.

Fuller is set to become available on the open market if the Bears don’t tender the franchise tag by March 6. Using the franchise tag remains an option, Pace said.

“We’re still evaluating that right now,” Pace said of the franchise tag. “Obviously, we like Kyle, he had a good season and we’re happy with the way he has progressed. But those are things that are still on the table and we’re still evaluating the process. We have some time.”

The Bears will have released Glennon, Young, linebacker Jerrell Freeman and safety Quintin Demps at the start of the league new year, which will help open up more than $80 million in cap space. That number will put the Bears among the league leaders in available spending money. However, Pace did caution assumptions that cap-clearing moves will lead to aggressive spending in free agency.

Roster turnover comes for the Bears as they move into Pace’s fourth year as general manager and the first year for new head coach Matt Nagy.

“All those decisions are very personal,” Pace said. “Those are tough ones. That’s the hard part of our business. For us, especially when a new staff is coming in, it’s making those assessments, going through those evaluations, and then as soon as we know just being decisive with the player and having some urgency to it.”

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670 The Score Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.

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