Bears release DT Ratliff after animated discussion with GM Pace
The Chicago Bears cut Jeremiah Ratliff on Thursday, a day after the defensive lineman was seen having an animated discussion with general manager Ryan Pace.
The exchange between Ratliff and Pace occurred in a parking lot outside of the team’s suburban facility.
"We felt moving forward without Jeremiah was in the best interest of our team," Pace said in a release. "We appreciate his contributions and wish him well."
The move comes after the Bears lost 37-34 at Detroit on Sunday to drop to 2-4 in their first season under Pace and coach John Fox. Chicago has a bye this week.
Ratliff was suspended for the first three games of this season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He started at nose tackle in each of Chicago’s last two games and had seven tackles.
A message was left seeking comment from Mark Slough, Ratliff’s agent.
The Bears replaced Ratliff by reaching a deal with free-agent defensive lineman Ziggy Hood, a first-round pick by Pittsburgh in the 2009 draft out of Missouri.
Hood signed a four-year deal with Jacksonville in March 2014, but he missed the first part of the season after he hurt his foot in the exhibition finale. Hood was released from the injured list on Tuesday after he passed a physical.
The 6-foot-3 Hood has 12 1/2 sacks and 164 tackles in six seasons with the Steelers and Jaguars.
Ratliff, a four-time Pro Bowl selection in Dallas, had 6 1/2 sacks last season for Chicago. He signed with the Bears after he was cut by the Cowboys in October 2013.