An Eddie Goldman Extension Is Possible, But It Would Bring the Bears Right Up Against the Cap

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An Eddie Goldman Extension Is Possible, But It Would Bring the Bears Right Up Against the Cap

Chicago Bears

Even after signing Khalil Mack to the largest contract in franchise history, the Chicago Bears still have a little bit of wiggle room to get another deal done to secure one of its top home-grown talents.

Nose tackle Eddie Goldman and safety Adrian Amos are the prime targets eligible for an extension. But because the Bears literally don’t have anyone behind Goldman on the depth chart at the position, it feels like it would make more sense for the team to lock in one of its top defensive linemen first.

With that in mind, Brad Spielberger of OverTheCap.com sought to find what a potential extension for Goldman would look like. Spielberger projects a four-year extension worth around $44 million, which includes $20 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $8 million. An extension of this magnitude would put Goldman just below the range of the Bills’ Star Lotulelei ($50 million total value, $10 million average) and the Eagles’ Timmy Jernigan ($48 million total value, $12 million average). It would also inch the Bears right up to the edge of the cap this season.

The way Spielberger sees it, GM Ryan Pace could be creative with the deal’s structure, as the Bears’ general manager tends to guarantee base salary and use March roster bonuses to his advantage. This layered structuring could ultimately leave the Bears with about $4.26 million in 2018 cap space when all is said and done. That probably wouldn’t be enough to keep Amos, too. But it’s something … which is better than nothing. And if we’ve learned anything from Pace, it’s that he is going to take advantage of any window of opportunity he is given – no matter how small it might appear.

After an injury-shortened 2016 season, Goldman played his way into being an extension candidate last season. He appeared in 15 of the team’s 16 games and played on 57.6 percent of the team’s total defensive snaps. And while Goldman hasn’t put up big-time sack numbers, it’s not like those are necessarily his responsibilities as the team’s nose tackle. Instead, Goldman’s primary job is to eat space in the run game, soak up double-teams in the middle, and free up others to make big plays. HOWEVER, Goldman does have a 5.5-sack season under his belt when he jumped out as a rookie. So it’s not as if he isn’t talented enough to push the pocket and make the play on the quarterback. Perhaps adding Mack to the front seven frees up Goldman to harass signal callers more often.

Goldman doesn’t turn 25 until after the 2018 regular season comes to an end. His age, productivity, and value in the middle of the 3-4 defense makes him someone the Bears should want to lock into an extension as the team goes about opening its window of contention. Goldman has been one of Pace’s most productive draft picks and one who has shown flashes of upside during the first three years of his career. It’s impossible to ignore the trend of home-grown talents getting rewarded, so it’s not out of the realm of possibilities to imagine Goldman following the likes of Charles Leno Jr., Kyle Fuller, and Akiem Hicks in getting his pay day.

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.