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As the NFL prepares to close out another season, the attention has shifted to the 2021 offseason where there are plenty of questions left to be answered. Among them is the state of the salary cap, which is decreasing due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021.
Last summer, the NFL and NFLPA originally agreed to a minimum of $175 million with the potential to be higher. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, negotiations for the 2021 salary cap began last month. And, according to him, it’s expected that the salary cap will be closer to $185 million than the originally expected $175 million.
More from this morning on the salary cap and other key issues for the NFL and NFLPA in 2021: https://t.co/PrdNKWIap5
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 4, 2021
Still, it’s a far cry from the $198.2 million agreed upon for 2020, which will force Bears general manager Ryan Pace to make some important, and perhaps tough, decisions this offseason.
According to Pelissero, it doesn’t sound like teams will know what the salary cap will be until “hours before the start of the league year,” which is on March 17. Although, it could happen before the start of the free-agent negotiating period on March 15.
There are a number of Bears that could fall victim to being a cap casualty this offseason. Here’s a look at some of those candidates and how much the Bears could save by parting ways with them:
DT Akiem Hicks ($10.5 million)
TE Jimmy Graham ($7 million)
RT Bobby Massie ($5.4 million)
LT Charles Leno ($6.2 million)
CB Buster Skrine ($2.7 million)
WR Anthony Miller ($1.2 million)
Considering the Bears have roughly 30 free agents this offseason, Pace has his work cut out for him, especially as some of those free agents should be priorities, including receivers Allen Robinson and Cordarrelle Patterson, as well as kicker Cairo Santos.