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One of the challenges the Chicago Bears and the rest of the NFL face in 2021 is the salary cap, which will decrease following financial losses due to COVID-19.
The NFL and NFLPA previously negotiated on a $175 million floor for the salary cap. But the two sides came to an agreement to raise the floor to $180 million, which gives teams a little more wiggle room. While that’s not the final amount — ESPN believes it could get as high as $185 million — which will likely be announced in March, it gives teams an idea of what the salary cap will look like.
But what does that mean for the Chicago Bears in 2021?
If the salary cap floor holds up, the Bears will be $2.5 million over the cap in 2021, according to Over The Cap. That means that general manager Ryan Pace is going to have to some decisions to make in regards to restructuring deals and cutting players to free up cap space.
“We have to be conscious,” Pace said of the salary cap situation back in January. “Obviously, as you know every year there’s ways to create cap space and those are all important decisions that we have to make.
“It kind of starts with that, evaluating our own roster and talking (over) some of those things. That’s real.”
Some potential cap casualties include tight end Jimmy Graham ($7 million), right tackle Bobby Massie ($5.4 million), left tackle Charles Leno ($6.2 million), cornerback Buster Skrine ($2.7 million) and receiver 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.