Former Bears LB Jerrell Freeman was facing 2-year suspension when he retired

Former Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman was facing a two-year suspension for a third failed drug test when he announced his retirement two weeks ago.

The NFL first listed him as suspended by the commissioner on Friday.

Freeman was suspended in each of his two seasons with the Bears, too. His first came in 2016 when he claimed in he made a mistake in clearing his prescription medication.

A 2017 captain, Freeman went on injured reserve after tearing his chest muscle on the first defensive play of the Bears’ season. His 10-game suspension, announced Oct. 30, signaled the likely end of his Bears career. He later said he was busted for pills, which he said he took after suffering a concussion in the opener. He said he’d been struggling with memory loss.

Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman retired last week. (AP)

The Bears told Freeman they wanted to part ways in February. He announced May 2 that he wouldn’t play again, calling his career a “long and rewarding journey.”

The team drafted his replacement, Georgia inside linebacker Roquan Smith, in the first round of last month’s draft.