The Bears Have Just $3.6 Million in Cap Carry Over and Project to Have About $10 Million in Total Cap Space

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The Bears Have Just $3.6 Million in Cap Carry Over and Project to Have About $10 Million in Total Cap Space

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears turned over their roster last offseason and handed out some beefy contracts along the way.

GM Ryan Pace’s bold moves and some spicy expenditures helped erase the memories of a 13-39 stretch under John Fox and build a 12-win team that won the NFC North and earned a home playoff game. Additionally, a good chunk of the team’s core is in place and have just two starters who are on the cusp of free agency. And that’s all very good news, because cap space is about to be limited.

The Bears have $3.6 million in unused salary cap space from last season, according to the NFLPA. It’s the 10th lowest in the league and lowest among the four teams in the NFC North. Last year, the Bears had nearly $8 million in salary cap carryover and were projected to have $80 million in cap space heading into last year’s free agency. My, oh, my how things have changed.

Chicago’s total estimated salary cap space is at $9,373,935, according to And according to the fine folks at, Chicago has a teeny-bit more wiggle room with $10,644,327 in effective cap space. Neither number factors in the extension for right tackle Bobby Massie, whose deal’s details have yet to be released. No matter which way it’s cut up and served, the Bears are among the teams with the least amount of salary cap space available.

The good news is that the Bears can still create more salary cap space, though it could be tricky. Restructuring current contracts by changing signing bonuses into base salaries and giving a player more money up front is one way. The team could also sign one of its pending free agents to an extension and piece together the deal in a way that creates wiggle room under the cap. And while the Bears don’t have a ton of players whose deals they could drop to save money, there are some possibilities that could be on the table.

Space is limited, but the Bears’ core is in tact. But in order to supplement the pieces in place, Pace will need to be more creative now than he has been in the past because navigating murky salary cap waters is no easy task.

Author: Luis Medina

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