By Chris Emma–

(670 The Score) The Bears will decline an $8-million team option on veteran guard Josh Sitton, NFL Media reported.

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With this decision, the 31-year-old Sitton will become an unrestricted free agent and the Bears can seek a younger option at guard.

Sitton was signed by the Bears in September 2016 after a surprising release by the Packers. He was selected as a Pro Bowl replacement that season. Sitton played in 13 games during each of his two years with the Bears, bringing a steady presence to the offensive line.

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In making this move, the Bears can perhaps pursue the market in free agency, which is set to include players like Andrew Norwell, Jack Mewhort and Justin Pugh, among others. They can also look to Notre Dame All-American guard Quenton Nelson with the eighth pick in the NFL Draft, should he be available. The Bears recently hired offensive line coach Harry Hiestand away from Notre Dame.

The Bears also reportedly released veteran linebacker Jerrell Freeman on Tuesday morning in a separate roster move.

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