Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan has been one of the defense's most reliable and productive starters since joining the team in 2016 despite an injury-riddled four-year tenure.
Trevathan's managed just one 16-game season with the Bears, as injuries have limited him to 12 or fewer starts in the other three. In 2019, Trevathan suited up for nine games and finished with 70 tackles and one sack.
His season came to an early end because of a gruesome left elbow injury in Week 10 against the Lions and has created doubt about his future in Chicago. He's set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and with fellow linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski also on an expiring contract, GM Ryan Pace will be forced to choose between the proven yet injured starter and the young career backup poised to breakout.
It will be a difficult decision for Pace to make considering Trevathan, when healthy, remains one of the NFL's most talented and effective inside linebackers. He ranked sixth on the Bears this season with a 70.9 run-defense grade from Pro Football Focus and while Kwiatkoski was arguably Chicago's best linebacker at the end of the season, Trevathan is more of a proven commodity for a defense that's championship-caliber when he's in the lineup.
But as the old football saying goes, the best ability is availability. And unfortunately for Trevathan, who was Pace's first big free-agent signing as Chicago's general manager, he just hasn't been available enough to feel good about his outlook moving forward.
We may have seen the last of Trevathan in a Bears uniform. His time in Chicago will be viewed mostly as 'what could've been,' but one thing is for sure: The Bears were a better team over the last four seasons with Trevathan than without.