When the Chicago Bears restructured the contract of Khalil Mack to gain an additional $11 million in salary cap space, fans got excited. They became convinced GM Ryan Pace was poised to make some sort of splash on the free agent market to upgrade his already good roster even further. Then the second day of legal tampering passed with the only move they made being the addition of Cordarrelle Patterson.

That’s not to say it was a bad move. The 28-year old receiver will fix one of the biggest problem areas on the entire roster. However, he’s far from the big move fans were hoping for. So they may not like the idea that the restructure tactic was never meant to free up cash for a free agent but something else.

Don’t forget that Pace has made it his stance to retain his own players whenever and wherever possible. He already rewarded right tackle Bobby Massie for his solid 2018 campaign with a new four-year deal and a pay raise. It’s not out of the question that he might have something similar planned as Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune pointed out.

“It seems unlikely the Bears will make a splash addition, even as running back Le‚ÄôVeon Bell remains on the market. Former Seahawks running back Mike Davis figures to be featured prominently in the offense, and the space created by the bookkeeping could prove to be for a few more smaller moves and then for the operating space the team will require for the season. Keep in mind that an extension for center Cody Whitehair could become a business item general manager Ryan Pace attacks during the summer.”

Chicago Bears Cody Whitehair extension would be in line with Pace’s thinking

Here’s the thing to remember. The Bears are a good team already. They were 12-4 last year and a missed field goal away from beating the defending champions. For the first time in years, they don’t have to be so frantic in their search for good players. Several are already on the roster. One of them is Cody Whitehair who attended the Pro Bowl for the first time in his young career.

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His contract will expire in 2020 and it would make sense that Pace would prefer for things to not reach that point. Whitehair is a vital component to the stability of the offensive line. He’s 26-years old and should remain so for a long time. Why not get the deal done now and remove one less major item on the agenda?

That may sound boring to some Bears fans, but it’s a good business maneuver. A reminder that if you play well for this franchise, you’ll be rewarded properly for your efforts.