Now That Eddie Goldman is Extended, Is There Room for Adrian Amos?

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Now That Eddie Goldman is Extended, Is There Room for Adrian Amos?

Chicago Bears

Earlier this week, we said there’d *probably* be room for the Chicago Bears to extend either Eddie Goldman or Adrian Amos, but not both. So, now that the team’s nose tackle has his new deal, what will become of its starting strong safety? To figure it out, let’s talk numbers.

Before Goldman’s extension, estimated that the Bears had $23,841,114 in available cap space for next season. That number was based on a projected salary cap of $190 million and an estimated $166,158,886 in total commitments. After Goldman’s extension, which doesn’t begin until next season but will will pay him (on average) $10.5M per year, the 2019 commitment jumps up to $176,658,886, leaving just $13,341,114 available dollars*.

*Obviously, the projected NFL cap could be a bit off, as could the Bears projected hit towards that cap, and other players could be cut or added along the way (creating or removing additional flexibility), but as an estimate, that feels pretty good.

So is that enough space to extend Amos? Well, in a vacuum? Yeah, sure. If the Bears wanted to do nothing else, that would be plenty of room to get something done. Indeed, when we tried to find a good comp earlier this week, we landed on Kam Chancellor’s four-year/$28M extension as a blueprint. If Amos needed $7-8M per year to get a deal done, the Bears would be fine. But again, only in a vacuum.

As I’m sure you could’ve guessed, the Bears have a number of other exiting free agents and, more so than ever, we must remember that these decisions are not made in isolation. If the team chooses to extend Amos, they may have to be comfortable with any number of his teammates walking after this year. In addition to Amos, here’s a list of the impending Bears free agents: Bobby Massie, Kevin White, Aaron Lynch, Josh Bellamy, Bruce Callahan, Marcus Cooper, Pat O’Donnell, Eric Kush, Benny Cunningham, Daniel Brown, Zach Miller, Michael Burton, DeAndre Houston-Carson, Roy Robertson-Harris.

In terms of who to keep, Amos certainly stands out among that group, but there are other significant hurdles the team would have to consider before diving into a long-term extension.

For example, running back Jordan Howard will be up for an extension as early as this winter. The earliest permissible date for teams to extend the contract of a rookie from the 2016 NFL Draft class is December 31st of this year. Howard has put together back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons to start his career and is a third straight year from improving his case for a second contract with the team. For another, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd’s future should also be on the Bears’ mind, though the deadline to pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie deal won’t come until May 3, 2019.

Point being, even if you rule out all of the soon-to-be free agents, there are existing members of the team who may need that cap space for an extension of their own.

As I mentioned, we explored the idea of an Amos extension and found it to be a bit tricky. Amos was a fifth-round pick in the same 2015 draft class that produced Goldman. And like Goldman, Amos has out-performed his draft position and rookie contract. But unlike Goldman, the Bears have a potential in-house candidate to replace him in Deon Bush. That’s something that could ultimately push the Bears against handing Amos an extension – especially when everything else (other extensions, potential free agent signings, etc.) is taken into consideration.

But don’t get me wrong. There’s no denying Amos’ emergence as one of the better safeties in football, after his third year in Vic Fangio’s defensive scheme. Pro Football Focus views him as a player on the cusp of being elite, while Bleacher Report’s panel of NFL experts placed him as the game’s top free safety. And there is no doubt Amos is a talented player who fits what the Bears want their defense to be moving forward. But fitting that player within the constraints of a salary cap will have its challenges, especially now that Goldman has his deal.

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Michael Cerami contributed to this post.

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Author: Luis Medina

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