NFL Sets 2019 Salary Cap at $188.2 Million and the Bears Are Really Up Against It

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NFL Sets 2019 Salary Cap at $188.2 Million and the Bears Are Really Up Against It

Chicago Bears

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the NFL’s salary cap is going up. Again.

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports the league’s salary cap will be set at $188.2 million. That’s an $11 million increase from last year and in line with December projections that estimated the cap to be in the $187-191.1 million range. We already knew the Bears were going to be pressing against it going into the offseason, but now we have a firm cap number to work with moving forward. estimates the Bears are $13,666,141 million under the cap entering the 2019 season, while’s approximation of the cap situation has the team with just $11,613,601 million in available cap room. In either case, only the Saints, Dolphins, Vikings, Jaguars, and Eagles have less wiggle room than the Bears right now. It’s not great, but it’s not a doomsday scenario. And to think, things could be worse. Take the Jaguars for example. has Jacksonville over the cap by $2,365,428 million. This is where I’d usually sarcastically wish the Jags good luck dealing with that, but Chicago has issues of their own.

The Bears’ available spending space is limited as of this moment. That’s not to say things can’t change between now and when the new league year opens up on March 13, but the front office will need to get creative in order to create a more spending-friendly situation. And with safety Adrian Amos and cornerback Bryce Callahan on the brink of free agency, GM Ryan Pace and his crew better get on it because the team is at risk of losing two starting-caliber defenders from what was the league’s top scoring defense. Oh, and if you think slapping the Franchise or Transition tag on one or the other solves the problems at hand, think again.

Albert Breer of’s The MMQB shared the league’s tag numbers:

FRANCHISE TAG (in millions)

  • Quarterback: $24.865
  • Running back: $11.214
  • Wide receiver: $16.787
  • Tight end: $10.387
  • Offensive line: $14.067
  • Defensive end: $17.128
  • Defensive tackle: $15.209
  • Linebacker: $15.443
  • Cornerback: $16.022
  • Safety: $11.150
  • Kicker: $4.971

TRANSITION TAG (in millions)

  • Quarterback: $22.783
  • Running back: $9.099
  • Wide receiver: $14.794
  • Tight end: $8.815
  • Offensive line: $12.866
  • Defensive end: $14.360
  • Defensive tackle: $12.378
  • Linebacker: $13.222
  • Cornerback: $13.703
  • Safety: $9.531
  • Kicker: $4.537

The most pertinent numbers for Chicago are the cornerback ($16.022M franchise; $13.703M transition) and safety ($11.150M franchise; $9.531M transition) tags. And even if Chicago wanted to use a tag, the only player who could conceivably receive it – as things are currently constructed – is Amos. As you can see, the Bears are living in tight quarters and using either tag wouldn’t provide much assistance.

Overall, another increase in the cap is a win for the league (which is making enough money for another salary cap jump) and its free agents (who are about to get paid), but not so much for the Bears.

Author: Luis Medina

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