The Chicago Bears have released incumbent starting left tackle Charles Leno Jr. The move will save about $6 million in cap space this season, though the 29-year-old will carry a dead cap charge of about $5 million in 2021. It's a cost-saving move, but it's ultimately a vote of confidence in second-round pick Teven Jenkins, who will be protecting Justin Fields' blindside as a rookie.
Still, Leno should have no trouble finding a new home in 2021. The 2018 Pro Bowler received a 74.6 overall grade from ProFootballFocus last year, showing he's still a very steady option. Here are the most likely free-agent destinations for Leno following his release from the Bears.
Charles Leno Jr. Release Bears
3. New York Jets
Joe Douglas clearly values offensive line play, spending a first-round pick on the OL in back-to-back seasons for the New York Jets. With Mekhi Becton at LT and Alijah Vera-Tucker at LG, the left side of New York's line looks locked up for the foreseeable future. The right side is a different story, however. Leno would be a big-time upgrade over RT George Fant, who was PFF's 64th tackle among 79 qualifiers. If Leno can make the switch to RT, he could be looking at a big payday, as the Jets have the second-most space ($28 million) in the league.
2. Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens are rumored to be in pursuit of Alejandro Villanueva to replace RT Trent Brown Jr., who they traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in a pre-draft deal. But that was before Leno became available. Both players produced at a similar level in 2020, but Leno is 29 while Villanueva will turn 33 near the start of the season. Leno could be a multi-year addition while Villanueva feels like a one-year, stopgap solution at the position. That could give the former Bear the edge.
1. Indianapolis Colts
Signing with the Indianapolis Colts almost makes too much sense. The team has a gaping hole at left tackle after Anthony Castonzo retired this offseason. Most thought Indianapolis would address the issue in the NFL Draft, but general manager Chris Ballard didn't pick a tackle and didn't pick an O-Linemen (guard Will Fries) until Round 7. Leno would provide an immediate upgrade at LT and round out what is an otherwise elite OL. The Colts give him the chance to play for a contender, remain at his natural position and get paid, as Indianapolis has the fourth-most available cap space. Few teams can check as many boxes for Leno as the Colts.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.