Bears have $7.01 million in salary cap spaceContinue reading.
Bears have $5.6 million in salary cap space
After a flurry of moves to open free agency, the Bears have $5.6 million in salary cap space, according to league sources.
Bears general manager Phil Emery emphasized several times on Wednesday that the club was “tight against the cap.”
When free agency started Tuesday afternoon, all NFL clubs had to be under the $123 million salary cap and stay there. The $5.6 million may seem like a lot, but it’s not when you consider that they need to allocate about $3 million for their rookie class. In addition, they have to keep some space for practice squad players and potential replacements to account for any injured players.
As I’ve said numerous times, the Bears can create more space. The most obvious and logical, in my opinion, would be to sign cornerback Charles Tillman to an extension. He enters the final year of his deal, which is due to pay him $8 million. With an extension, the Bears could slash his cap number in half.
Defensive tackle Henry Melton, of course, is another obvious candidate. He signed his franchise tender of $8.45 million earlier this week.
Cornerback Tim Jennings also enters the last year of his deal and makes some sense.
So did the Bears really want Brian Urlacher, Israel Idonije and Lance Louis back, as Emery had suggested in the past?
Yes, but at the Bears’ price. That’s why the Bears allowed all those players to hit the market and not actively talk numbers during the three-day negotiating period.
The Bears were able to make a splash, signing Jermon Bushrod and Martellus Bennett, but they had to slow things down.
Now the Bears will bargain shop and create space as they need it.