The salary cap came in even higher than many projections and the Bears will have league-high of about $98 million to spend.
The Bears have a little more salary cap space Monday after the NFL announced the actual cap will be higher than many projections.
The rich get richer.
The salary cap is actually $224.8 million, which is up by $16.6 million from last year and this only makes sense because the cap was held down in 2021 by the COVID adjustment.
For the Bears, this means they're currently at $98,638,266 available under the cap, by far the most in the NFL according to Spotrac.com.
Atlanta at $56.4 million, Cincinnati at $44.5 million, the Giants at $44.4 million and the Patriots at $38.1 million are the next closest to the Bears.
What can a team do with almost $98 million in cap space? The answer "anything they want," isn't quite true. In fact, GM Ryan Poles at season's end cautioned against thinking they'd go on a wild spending spree. But the cap figure suggests otherwise.
They actually do have a few contract extensions they'll need the cash to make, including wide receiver Darnell Mooney, cornerback Jaylon Johnson and tight end Cole Kmet. All three are players held in high regard by the team.
They may need to have money set aside for wide receiver Chase Claypool should they decide they want to keep him. It sounds as though they want to see more from him first.
"In terms of the contract stuff, we just got to take the next step, see how he gets implemented and how he does in this offseason," GM Ryan Poles said of Claypool. "He's going to spend a lot of time with Justin as well as the other receivers and build that chemistry. We'll evaluate that even clearer next year."
If they want to keep David Montgomery, whose contract expires in March, then they also need cash. Poles said this becomes a matter of finding "common ground" in talks with Montgomery's agent.
Beyond that, the addition of key free agents will be important and the Bears should be able to make several significant signings.
For instance, the Jacksonville Jaguars made seven major free agent acquisitions last year and had only about $60 million in cap space when they put together an offense and defense capable of supporting Trevor Lawrence for a run to the AFC divisional playoffs.
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