Cody Whitehair and the Bears have ensured his place in the team’s future by agreeing to a contract extension, as expected.

ESPN reported the 5-year deal is worth $52.5 million and includes $27.5 million guaranteed.

The timing of the agreement just before the regular season follows a pattern general manager Ryan Pace has established for contract extensions. Predecessors in that process include left tackle Charles Leno and defensive linemen Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman.

Whitehair was a second-round pick out of Kansas State in 2016. He has moved back to left guard this season where he played as a rookie before playing the last two seasons at center.

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