A focus this Bears offseason was to improve both competition and depth at multiple positions, not the least of which was the offensive line. That group had a setback in both competition and depth on Wednesday when veteran center/guard Manny Ramirez, a four-year member of coach John Fox’s Denver Broncos’ line, was placed on the reserve/retired list.
Ramirez, 33, signed a one-year deal in March for $965,000 after playing last season for the Detroit Lions. He was expected to challenge Hroniss Grasu, the Bears’ third-round pick in the 2015 draft, for the starting center job.
That role of challenger is now expected to fall to Cody Whitehair, the Bears’ second-round pick this year. Whitehair was projected primarily at guard but has taken snaps at center and has impressed coaches through OTA’s with his balance and athleticism.
Ramirez played in 83 games with 65 starts over eight seasons with the Detroit Lions (2007-10, 2015) and the Broncos (2011-14).