GREEN BAY - It turns out Josh Sitton won’t be far away at all this season.
A day after the Green Bay Packers cut him loose, the three-time Pro Bowl guard agreed to a three-year deal with the Chicago Bears in a move that is sure to stoke the NFC North rivalry between the two teams.
The Packers decided Sitton wasn’t good enough to play for them at a total salary of $6.55 million, but the Bears have worked out a deal that will pay Sitton an average of slightly more than $7 million a year, a source familiar with the deal said.
Neither Sitton nor his agent, Jack Reale, returned messages, but the source said Sitton had agreed to a three-year, $21.5 million deal that included a $10 million signing bonus.
Chicago had groomed second-round pick Cody Whitehair to play left guard, but presumably Sitton will move into that spot and Whitehair either will move to another position or go to the bench.
Sitton, 30, was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season, but the Packers had not negotiated an extension with him and appeared likely to move on after this season.
But in a surprising move, they sent Sitton packing on Saturday, possibly for $6.55 million in cap savings to sign two or more of their three offensive linemen also scheduled to become unrestricted free agents: tackle David Bakhtiari, center JC Tretter and guard T.J. Lang.