The Chicago Bears declined to pick up the fifth-year option on 2012 first-round draft pick Shea McClellin (Marsing High), General Manager Ryan Pace confirmed Wednesday.
“No. We’ve already spoken to his agent. No,” Pace told reporters.
The Bears had until Sunday to make their decision. The option called for McClellin to earn $7.715 million in 2016. McClellin is due a $775,600 base salary and a $741,227 roster bonus in the final year of his original rookie contract.
McClellin finished fourth on the team last year in tackles (84) and second in tackles for loss (4.5) in 12 games.
However, McClellin was labeled a pass-rusher when the Bears drafted him No. 19 overall three years ago. McClellin has only 7.5 sacks in 40 career games (20 starts) -- three of the sacks occurred in one game versus the Green Bay Packers in 2013.
Ex-general manager Phil Emery initially wanted McClellin lined up at defensive end until the club moved him to outside linebacker last season. Having played in a 3-4 in college, McClellin may be able to find a role in the Bears’ new defensive scheme, although his roster spot is far from guaranteed.