5 salary cap decisions Chicago Bears will have to make in 2024

The Bears already have a good amount of cap space, but that number could rise.

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Get ready for maybe the most eventful Chicago Bears offseason of your lifetime.

We're not only talking about the quarterback position and what the Bears should do with the no. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. We're talking about a whole lot more.

This Bears team has some decisions to make. General manager Ryan Poles will be busy when it comes to keying in on the salary cap, and there are some players he'll have to consider either cutting, restructuring or extending this offseason.

Chicago is already starting the offseason with the 8th-most cap space ($46.8 million) in the NFL, per Over the Cap. That number very well could rise based on the following decisions.

Cutting Cody Whitehair has to be a foregone conclusion

The first decision Chicago needs to make is on the interior of their offensive line. Lucas Patrick is a free agent and I would bet the team allows him to leave. But, Cody Whitehair is still under contract and, as of now, he is more of a backup than a starter.

The Bears have to find a long-term replacement at center, but first, cutting Whitehair seems to be a logical move. If the Bears opted to cut Whitehair, they would save over $9 million in doing so. Keeping him on as a $13 million backup sounds like a silly move, no matter how you spin it.

Is he valuable as a backup? Absolutely. But, they can't pay him that kind of money as a reserve. It's time to cut ties with a guy who loves Chicago and the feelings are mutual. It will be hard to say goodbye, but the time is right for Whitehair to move on from Chicago and vice versa.