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Bears could have as much as $28 million to spend

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As the team-by-team cap amounts for 2012 come into focus, one team that will have plenty to spend if it so chooses is the Bears.

Key phrase:  “If it so chooses.”

Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Bears have up to $28 million in cap space, when taking into account the amount that the Bears can carry over from 2011.  But with new G.M. Phil Emery saying that the team plans to build through the draft, don’t count on a free-agency splurge.

And with the ability to continuously carry cap space over from year to year under the new CBA, there’s no reason to spend it all this year.  Starting next year, of course, the per-team requirement to spend 89 percent of the unadjusted cap (without any carryover) will require teams to spend even if they don’t want to.  For now, though, the Bears have no need to spend — and they also have no need to slash cap numbers.

But they still could.  And why not consider doing so?  If there are players whose contracts don’t reflect their value, the Bears could create some cap space that could be carried over into future years, and devoted to other players.

Biggs has the 2012 cap numbers for each player.  And the team has some aging veterans who’ll present Emery with tough decisions.  With plenty of cap space to acquire their replacements, now could be the time to make the tough decisions to move on from certain players.

UPDATE 11:23 a.m. ET:  Since running back Matt Forte doesn’t have a contract for 2012, he doesn’t count against the 2012 cap.  If the Bears use the franchise tag, roughly $7.7 million will be assigned to Forte.

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23 Responses to “Bears could have as much as $28 million to spend”
  1. Davo says: Feb 22, 2012 10:37 AM

    Isn’t there some stipulation in the new CBA that all teams have to spend 95% (or some high percentage) of the cap every year? If that’s the case, teams wouldn’t be able to carry over nearly as much year over year, right?

  2. woodg8 says: Feb 22, 2012 10:38 AM

    Spend that cash on Avril and VJax and the Lombardi trophy’s coming to Chicago

  3. bearsrulepackdrool says: Feb 22, 2012 10:46 AM

    Cortland Finnegan and Vincent Jackson would be a good start.

  4. tenotnamedmiller says: Feb 22, 2012 10:59 AM

    Worst oline + one of worst WRs in the NFL=QB can’t finish 2 seasons in a row after not missing a game previously. Why spend?

  5. daysend564 says: Feb 22, 2012 11:01 AM

    @Davo –
    That starts in 2013. Owners can be as cheap as they want this year.

  6. tombradyallday says: Feb 22, 2012 11:26 AM

    i know bears fans are happy angelo is gone ha now you could make some real moves

  7. Mr. Wright 212 says: Feb 22, 2012 11:30 AM

    And they’re still not going to spend it. Angelo didn’t know personnel. Being cheap comes from the McCaskeys.

    What money they DO spend can be guaranteed to be ill-spent on the wrong players in the wrong amount. Typical Bears lmao.

  8. seandconner says: Feb 22, 2012 11:37 AM

    And they will never fix that receiving corp. Pay Forte, fortify that offensive line, and get a receiver or two who are more than number 4 and 5’s on another team.

  9. catchhester23 says: Feb 22, 2012 11:58 AM

    If the o-line stays healthy I think we will be fine there. Tice will call plays to help them out no more of that crap from the 90’s that defenses figured out how to stop 10 years ago. I think V-Jax and Finley would help a lot, I don’t think Avril is going anywhere. Then if we get lucky in the draft get Floyd. Then start the rebuild on defense next year. Just draft some depth at corner this year. Also if we could get Hanyesworth signed for one year I think lovie could get him motivated to play every snap. Him and Melton in the middle would help with pressure up the middle.

  10. nineroutsider says: Feb 22, 2012 12:00 PM

    Why haven’t they given Forte a long term deal yet? Ridiculous.

    I’m sure Bear fans have some ideas where they should spend some serious coin…a premier WR or 2. The 9ers have the same need, so hope those Bears stay cheap!

  11. PFTiswhatitis says: Feb 22, 2012 12:10 PM

    Save it for next year then go big.

  12. metalhead65 says: Feb 22, 2012 12:10 PM

    sure keep the money,I mean it’s not like maro williams would look good on the other side of peppars now would he? and forget about gettin a reciever thru fee agencey a rookie will do just as good and not take time to develop right? thanks for crushing any hope for getting better after dunping angelo you cheap bastards!

  13. rajbais says: Feb 22, 2012 12:21 PM

    Yes and they’ll waste it all on washed up receivers that will play like crap!!!!

  14. seeschool says: Feb 22, 2012 12:27 PM

    “Worst oline + one of worst WRs in the NFL=QB can’t finish 2 seasons in a row after not missing a game previously. Why spend?”

    Man I hope this is sarcasm, otherwise you’re really stupid.

    Do you not see the correlation between these issues?

    Oline can’t pass protect, WR’s can’t open, QB gets hurt…..hmmmmm…..perhaps we should spend some money on Oline and WR’s so QB…doesn’t get hurt.

  15. bunjy96 says: Feb 22, 2012 12:30 PM

    Mr. Wright 212 says: Feb 22, 2012 11:30 AM

    And they’re still not going to spend it. Angelo didn’t know personnel. Being cheap comes from the McCaskeys.

    Thought he got his basic training in Tampa and the McCaskeys just put the finishing touches on it

  16. eaststsfb says: Feb 22, 2012 12:53 PM

    woodg8 says:Feb 22, 2012 10:38 AM

    Spend that cash on Avril and VJax and the Lombardi trophy’s coming to Chicago

    Unless those guys can block, you’re gonna need alot more than that. Have fun in 3rd place in the division.

  17. gridassassin says: Feb 22, 2012 2:24 PM

    Outside of Earl Bennett, I don’t consider any of the other Bears WRs ‘legit’ NFL WRs.

    Devin Hester and Dane Sanzenbacher were amongst the worst in the league in drops last year.

    Roy Williams is no longer under contract.

    So all they REALLY have is Earl Bennett.

    They need to reload at the WR quickly – AND through the draft. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Bears go after one of the ‘big name WRs’ – preferably Bowe, Mike Wallace or Colston – and then also sign either Laurent Robinson or Harry Douglas – who were both drafted in Atlanta while Phil Emery was their director of college scouting.

    Then they should STILL spend one of their draft picks in Rounds 1, 2 or 3 on a WR.

    The NFL is a passing league, and they really have negligible talent at the WR and TE positions.

  18. mialto says: Feb 22, 2012 3:10 PM

    Emery won’t reveal his strategy for FA or Draft…good plan!

  19. illiniftw says: Feb 22, 2012 3:37 PM

    I hate reading the words “negligible talent at TE” considering it was arguably one of their strongest positions not even 2 years ago. Thanks Martz/Angelo!

  20. xli2006 says: Feb 22, 2012 4:00 PM

    WR. How many years can they go without a #1?

  21. dd393 says: Feb 22, 2012 7:31 PM

    Maybe now they can afford to spend money on grass in their Bedpan rather then green paint for the dirt.

  22. asublimeday says: Feb 23, 2012 2:35 AM

    With carimi and williams coming back on the line, conte and wright playing healthy at strong/free safety, and cutler back it’s actually pretty impressive how good the bears are while being that far below the cap

    They were clearly one of the top teams in the NFC last season before suffering a rash of bad injuries. Grab a #1 WR and a #2 CB, maybe another good pass rusher and you’re back into the thick of things.

  23. tone360 says: Feb 23, 2012 1:45 PM

    7-3 before thumb-ageddon. Rolled the Eagles, crushed the Chargers before it all ended. We are not far but considering the ages of Urlacher and Briggs, I say spend now. Wrap our first and our later 3rd rnd picks to move up and grab Floyd.

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