Bears tight on cap space as NFL projects salary cap increase as high as $201.2M in 2020
By Alyssa Barbieri December 10, 2019 6:27 pm ET
NFL teams are going to have a lot more money to play with this offseason as the 2020 NFL salary cap is projected to be between $196.8 and $201.2 million.
The salary cap is expected to increase by more than $8 million from the current cap of $188.2 million, but it’s still going to be challenging for Bears general manager Ryan Pace heading into a busy offseason.
The Bears have roughly $202 million committed to the salary cap in 2020, according to Over the Cap. Depending on where the NFL and NFLPA agree to set next year’s salary cap, the Bears need to clear between $1.8 and $6.2 million just to get under the projected salary cap.
It won’t be easy for Pace, but he’s managed to get creative in creating cap space. His offseason priorities are locking up some players in-house, including safety Eddie Jackson, receiver Allen Robinson and linebacker Kwiatkoski, who is an unrestricted free agent in 2020.
Among the Bears’ in-house free agents in 2020 are linebacker Danny Trevathan, safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, defensive back/special teams ace Sherrick McManis, defensive tackle Nick Williams, linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis and quarterback Chase Daniel.
Pace could manage extra cap space by releasing players like right guard Kyle Long, cornerback Prince Amukamara and receiver Taylor Gabriel, who combined would give the Bears an extra $20.6 million in cap space, among others.
Chicago has a lot of needs to address this offseason — be it in free agency or the NFL Draft — including tight end, offensive line, edge rusher and backup quarterback.
I do not envy Pace his job this coming Spring. Kicking the can on contracts gets you here, where you are up against that Cap wall. Converting Salary in years past to bonuses always comes back to bite you in the butt.
Some very hard decisions are coming soon and fans are not gonna like the some of the results.