Bears salary cap situation after Jaylon Johnson gets franchise tag

Bears salary cap situation after Jaylon Johnson gets franchise tag originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Now that the Bears have made the decision to place the franchise tag on star cornerback Jaylon Johnson, the team’s salary cap picture is much clearer as free agency approaches. Johnson is now locked into a $19.8 million deal to play in 2024, unless his camp and GM Ryan Poles can come to an agreement on a new long-term deal before the July 17 deadline.

That nearly $20 million takes a big chunk out of the Bears’ cap space, but they will still have room to add players if they choose.

According to Spotrac, the Bears had about $75.8 million in cap space before tagging Johnson. Assuming Johnson signs the tender and plays on the one-year deal, the Bears will be down to $56 million. Set aside around $13 million for their upcoming draft class, and you’ve got around $43 million for Poles to work with when teams are allowed to negotiate with free agents next week.

The Bears still have several holes to fill on their roster, and as things stand they only have five draft picks, so it stands to reason they’ll be active on the free agent market. They might not make a big, big splash by signing a player like Chris Jones, but it’s conceivable that they add Week 1 starters at positions like defensive end, wide receiver or free safety.

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