Bears Will Have Plenty of Salary Cap Space in 2012, Will They Use It?

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Last week we talked about how Free Agency will start at home for the Bears.  With the free agent frenzy just a couple of weeks away, we’ll be revving up our coverage to explore options for the Bears to fill the numerous holes.  As NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert writes, the Bears will have plenty of cap space, aided by a rollover of money they didn’t use in 2011.  It’s like the old cell plan “rollover minutes” but like millions of them.

As we continue to explore the dry but important implementation of the NFL’s new salary cap, I point you in the direction of John Clayton’s Monday morning mailbag. Clayton describes a new facet of the 2012 cap: The ability of teams to roll over leftover space from the previous year, something that has pushed the available space of some teams to more than $60 million.

The Bears are in really good shape even before the rollover, but here are the latest figures:

Chicago Bears
Last week’s figure: $101.8
Rollover: About $7.7 million
What it means: The Bears are projected to have about $25 million in cap space.

The big question now is whether new GM Phil Emery is allowed to spend the McCaskey’s money.   With the new CBA, there is a loophole that allows teams from spending to the cap floor in 2012, but that closes next season, so this is the last year the Bears could cheap out under the new CBA.  Do the Bears try to help new GM Phil Emery succeed by dropping big free agent dollars?  Do the Misers of the Midway try to pocket a few extra million this season while they still can?

Stay tuned for a lot more free agency coverage, including a look at potential free agent targets for all positions in the days and weeks to come.  March 13th will be upon us in no time!

BEAR DOWN!!!

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