Ben Braunecker – TE
The next cut that needs to happen is Ben Braunecker. Braunecker is in a very similar situation as Adam Shaheen. Cutting Braunecker saves around $1 million in cap space. That $2 million needs to go to Jimmy Graham. That would mean his cap space at a minimum will cost the team $7 million. It will be interesting to see how they structure Graham’s contract.
Do they backload it and give themselves more cap space for 2020? This would almost guarantee Graham remains on the roster in 2021. The Bears could front load it too, essentially making the deal a one-year deal with an option to keep Graham for a second season if he pans out.
We all know what Braunecker is at this point. Between Adam Shaheen and Braunecker, I would actually keep Braunecker. He fits that backup tight end role perfectly. However, both need to go. Remember, the team currently has nine tight ends on the roster. Holding onto all of them until the season gets closer is an option, but again, the team could use that $2 million, especially if they plan on targeting a move for Andy Dalton or Derek Carr.
This was only the first day of free agency. The team still needs to fill the right guard spot and find a quarterback to push Mitchell Trubisky. These need to be priorities one and two. Next is deciding what to do about Leonard Floyd, followed by finding replacements for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Prince Amukamara. There are holes to fill here for sure. Bring on Day 2.