Abilene native Cody Whitehair has signed a long-term contract extension with the Chicago Bears.
The Bears announced they inked the left guard to a five-year contract extension through 2024. His rookie deal was due to expire after this season.
Whitehair was selected by the Bears in the second round of the 2016 draft (56th overall) out of Kansas State. He has started all 16 games in each of his three seasons at center, a position he never played in college.
“Cody embodies everything we look for in a Chicago Bear and I’m excited for us as an organization to extend him five more years,” Bears GM Ryan Pace said. “He is a great talent and unselfish teammate with a ton of pride in being a leader for us. It is always nice to reward our own and I know this will only drive Cody even more every day.”
Last season Whitehair was named to his first career Pro Bowl. He and left tackle Charles Leno Jr. became the first Bears offensive line teammates to be named to the Pro Bowl since center Olin Kreutz and guard Ruben Brown in 2006, the last year the team reached the Super Bowl.
In 2018, Whitehair was part of an offensive line that helped the Bears score at least 24 points in 11 games, their most since they also tallied at least 24 points 11 times in 1995. The offense allowed only 33 sacks, tied for the eighth fewest in the NFL, and ranked 11th in rushing at 121.1 yards per game.
Whitehair was moved to left guard during the offseason, flipflopping positions with 2018 second-round pick James Daniels. Through training camp, the two have made a seamless transition.
Adam Schefter reports the 5-year deal is a $52.5 million extension that includes $27.5 million guaranteed, per sources. The deal, negotiated by Jeff Nalley and Graylan Crain, gives Whitehair the second-largest guarantee for a guard extension in NFL history.
Whitehair is a former Abilene Cowboy and K-State Wildcat. In 2011 he was a KSAL Sportscaster Club Scholarship Award winner.