Chicago Bears: 3 ways Ryan Pace will screw up the trade deadline
Doing nothing would be a mistake for Ryan Pace and the Chicago Bears
It would be just as big of a mistake for Ryan Pace and the Chicago Bears to do nothing at the 2021 NFL trade deadline. The Bears will have nearly $50 million dollars in salary cap space next offseason, but that is not quite as good as it seems. More on that in a moment.
First, the whole, “the Bears are the second-oldest team in the NFL” concern is honestly a waste of breath. Most of the older players on the team will not be on the roster in 2022. This includes Jimmy Graham, Akiem Hicks, Andy Dalton, Danny Trevathan and most likely Nick Foles.
With players like these off the roster, the Bears’ average age will drop drastically. Concerning oneself with the age of the roster right now just is not as important as those who bring it up make it out to be. However, hearing that the team will have nearly $50 million in cap space next year is a concern. Why? Well, that amount of money is not enough to make big splashes in 2022.
The Bears have five draft picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. They have a second, a third, two fifths and a sixth-rounder. Going into 2022, 29 players will be on the active roster assuming none are cut. Since the top 51 salaries are counted towards the salary cap, this means the team will need to add 22 players before the start of the regular season.
With five rookies (not all are guaranteed to make the roster), a minimum of 17 free agents will need to be added. Now, please note that this will likely include their own free agents such as James Daniels, Bilal Nichols, Deon Bush and others. Although many of these players will not cost an arm and a leg, the team needs talent and will need to find it with key additions.
One way to help with that is selling off some of the older assets who will not be back in 2022. Akiem Hicks is one example, but Allen Robinson is another. Sure, the team could receive compensatory picks next season, but I just told you they have to add 17 players and that is going to hurt their compensatory pick formula. The team needs to guarantee they bring in more picks by selling off these veterans that can help a true contender — even if only for mid to late-round picks.