GM Phil Emery made it a point two weeks ago to mention that the Bears were getting tight against the salary cap with the signings of tight end Martellus Bennett and left tackle Jermon Bushrod, coming on top of the franchise tag placed on defensive tackle Henry Melton and other heavy tickets.
NBC cousin Mike Florio out at ProFootballTalk.com confirms that the Bears are not necessarily in the cap quandaries that Dallas, Carolina, St. Louis and some others are. But they are far from flush.
Mike’s information has the Bears sitting about 20th in amount of available cap room, with $5.3 million. The Cincinnati Bengals top the NFL with an estimated $28.9 million, followed by the Cleveland Browns at $28.7 million.
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The numbers aren’t simple hard numbers and there are ways to structure and restructure contracts to comply with the cap limits. And every team will have a rookie salary pool needed to sign draft choices and free agents. The Bears’ pool last year was $4.1 million based on six draft picks, vs. this year’s five before any trades to add picks.
Actually, the Bears have themselves in a decent overall position, with no major 2013 contracts to do other than perhaps adding a veteran offensive lineman and a couple of other players.
Compare that to the Green Bay Packers, who Mike cites as having $18.3 million in space but are in the process of doing new deals with linebacker Clay Matthews and quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who will be their two highest-paid players.