The Chicago Bears might not be done throwing money around.
Even after adding Khalil Mack, the NFLPA’s public salary cap report shows the Bears still have $11,185,400 left in cap room this season. It’s not a ton of wiggle room, to be sure, but it could be enough to engineer an extension for one of the team’s home-grown defensive standouts.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune points out impending free agents nose tackle Eddie Goldman and safety Adrian Amos are the best bets for possible extensions before the season begins – while hinting at the possibility of Goldman being the next man up. Back in March, GM Ryan Pace said the team was exploring extensions for both Goldman and Amos. As recently as July, Pace said he was pleased with the progress that had been made regarding a potential extension for Goldman, but there wasn’t a deal in place.
Goldman and Amos are two of the best and most productive draft picks of the Pace era. Both players are shining examples of how well the Bears’ general manager has drafted outside of the first round. But because the Bears added Mack, the team probably can’t sign both standout defenders to an extension. That’s a shame, but it’s the price of having a superstar who earned the richest contract ever for a defensive player on your roster.
Recent history reminds us that Pace has a knack for signing his players to extension around this time of year. Defensive end Akiem Hicks signed a big-money deal to stay in Chicago on the Saturday before last year’s season opener against the Atlanta Falcons, then proceeded to put up a big game in Week 1 against the defending NFC champs. Hicks’ new paper came approximately two weeks after the team handed an extension to left tackle Charles Leno Jr. in a deal that brought stability to the offensive line and provided blindside protection for Mitch Trubisky moving forward. Since then, Leno put together his best season as a pro and followed that with a strong preseason effort.
If we have learned anything the last two years, it’s that Pace is bold and innovative enough to make big things happen – especially when they’re not expected. Stay tuned.