Aug 24, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Chicago Bears helmets during the second half against the New York Giants at Metlife Stadium. The Bears won the game 20-17 Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
The NFLPA announced the salary cap will be set at $133 million for the 2014 season. That’s $10 million more than it was in 2013 and a higher figure than most experts were projecting. That means the Chicago Bears will have more room to make some free agent moves as the new league year is set to begin on March 11th. That’s the good news. The bad news? Everyone else gets more room too.
The Bears currently sit at nearly $123 million in cap spending, but that number is deceiving. They still have options to create a lot more space. Here are some likely targets to be cut to open up some more space:
Julius Peppers – $14 million
Michael Bush – $2.85 million
Earl Bennett – $2.45 million
Adam Podlesh – $1.45 million
Eric Weems – $1.1 million
That’s nearly $22 million in additional savings and almost $33 million for Phil Emery left to spend. This doesn’t account for some of the guys they’ve recently resigned, but those are relatively small potatoes. They’ll also need to put some aside for the rookie salary pool and the inevitable emergencies, but that leaves them with plenty of room to maneuver to fix their awful defense. If you’d like to play Chicago Bears GM and play with their salary cap, check out overthecap.com, which has some awesome tools to navigate the cap space.
Rumor has it that Martellus has been busy recruiting his brother Michael and some of their own pending free agent defensive linemen like Henry Melton, Corey Wootton and Jeremiah Ratliff are still up for grabs. With all of the offensive starters set to return, you can bet the Bears will be spending big on defense in free agency to fix the D.
What do you think? Where would you like to see them spend their cap space? Who would you like to see brought back?