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There’s been a lot of uncertainty surrounding the NFL’s salary cap for the 2021 season. Not much was known about what the cap would like — aside from the fact that is would be decreasing to no less than $180 million following the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With one week before the start of the new league year, the NFL has settled on a salary cap of $182.5 million, according to numerous insiders around the league. There was a belief that it would be closer to $185 million, but it ultimately fell short of that expected amount.
With the cap set at $182.5 million, that would put the Bears about $17 million over the cap with a week before the start of the new league year, according to Over The Cap.
That’s including news from Tuesday that Chicago used the franchise tag on star receiver Allen Robinson, which would pay him about $18 million — a cap hit of $15 million — in 2021.
Bears general manager Ryan Pace has plenty of work to do in the next week to free up cap space. He’s started with a couple of expected cuts in cornerback Buster Skrine and right tackle Bobby Massie, which freed up roughly $8.1 million in cap space between them both.
But there are surely more cuts coming, most likely tight end Jimmy Graham, a move that would free up an addition $7 million. Expect contract restructures for safety Eddie Jackson, offensive lineman Cody Whitehair and others. There’s an opportunity to free up even more cap space with potential contract extensions for someone like Robinson or cornerback Kyle Fuller.