As they get set to open training camp, the Chicago Bears received some startling news on Thursday as they were informed by defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis that he would not be reporting to training camp and intends to retire from the National Football League.
Ellis was a 2008 first-round pick out of USC by the New Orleans Saints, where he's started 70 games over the last five seasons, totaling 173 tackles, 12.5 sacks and 14 passes defensed. Ellis' top season came when he posted six sacks during the 2010 season. In the last two seasons, the 6-foot, 305-pound nose tackle has just a half-sack in 1,412 defensive snaps, according to official NFL playing-time documents.
As the No. 7 overall pick in 2008, Ellis earned over $33.5 million over the last five seasons and became an unrestricted free agent in March. Ellis did not garner much interest and joined the Bears on June 12 after paying free agent visits to the Detroit Lions and New England Patriots.
Ellis' deal with the Bears was worth $1 million and included $500,000 in guaranteed money. The guaranteed portion was split between a $285,000 signing bonus and a $215,000 guarantee on his $715,000 base salary. By retiring, the Bears are off the hooks for those amounts, including the signing bonus.
The Bears had hoped that Ellis could be a rotational tackle who provides depth behind starters Henry Melton and Stephen Paea. Those duties will now fall to Nate Collins, Corvey Irvin and undrafted rookies Brent Russell, Zach Minter and Christian Tupou.