General manager Ryan Poles knew what he was doing when he dismantled the Chicago Bears’ roster in the spring. The objective was obvious. He wanted to get rid of as many bloated contracts as possible, trading or removing older vets in hopes of going younger. People didn’t want to use the word rebuild, but that’s clearly what it was. The Poles further cemented that plan when he traded Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith in late October. The Bears were left with tons of dead money to take on, but it came with a big payoff. It would free up a ton of cap space for 2023.
Pole has said he doesn’t want to build the Bears through free agency. They have already tried this several times over the years, and it never works. He has to build this team through the draft. That said, it’s a foregone conclusion that he’ll make some spending on the veterans market next March. Part of it will be because he has to. This team has too many roster holes for one draft class to fix. Another part is the large amount of money that he will have available. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, there’s a good chance the 2023 salary cap will top $220 million.
That would be a league record.
The NFL salary cap ccould reach a record of more than $220 million by club in 2023.
But unknowns regarding revenue from new TV deals and deferred player benefit payments during the COVID-19 pandemic leave the final cap number cloudy with just over three months to go until the start of the league year. league and free agency next March, according to sources…
…A source familiar with the process predicted that the normal calculation of projected revenue would peg the 2023 peak number at “well above 220 (million).” But the NFL hasn’t made its cap projection yet, sources say, and both the league and union have decisions to make that will affect the final math.
The Chicago Bears should be able to sign any free agent they want.
Money will not be an object for them. Spotrac currently projects the cap to land somewhere around $224 million. If that turns out to be true, the Bears will end up with $115 million in space. That’s $49 million more than the second-ranked team on the list. If there are one or two players that the Poles really covet, you’ll be able to throw big contracts at them. Or he could take a more measured approach, spreading the money across various positions in hopes of shoring up depth and perhaps landing a couple of solid starters. Then he could focus on recruiting the best players available in April.
There is also the matter of extensions. The Chicago Bears have several players entering the final years of their rookie contracts. Jaylon Johnson, Cole Kmet, Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool are the big ones. The Poles must decide if he will use part of that money to put any of them away. Right now, it looks like Kmet is doing everything they can to win that new deal. Mooney was on his way to that, too, before an untimely ankle injury. Johnson and Claypool are in wait and see mode. Lots of things to juggle as the regular season comes to a close.