The folks at OverTheCap estimate that Chicago’s football team has $8,471,031 in available cap space this season. This is a good number to keep in mind, just in case they want or need to augment the team with another offensive lineman or a player at another perceived position of need.
But know that, down the line, the Bears have some particular hurdles to clear next season, hurdles that otherwise could be cleared by rolling that 2020 money over into 2021:
Top 10 teams estimated to be over the salary cap in 2021
($s amount OTC so bigger is worse)
1. Saints- $82.8M
2. Eagles- $72.6M
3. Falcons- $37.5M
4. Steelers- $28.3M
5. Rams- $23.9M
6. Chiefs- $22.1M
7. Texans- $14.6M
8. Vikings- $14.1M
9. Raiders- $13.3M
10. Bears- $7.7M
— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) October 11, 2020
The Saints and Eagles’ numbers is jarring. The cap wizards in New Orleans and Philadelphia will need extra sorcery in order to get into a healthy place for the 2021 league year. As for the Bears, it’s rough — although, not as bad as some other teams have it. And it’s not even the toughest cap situation in the NFC North (thanks, Vikings!), so this feels manageable.
Because we’re in the heart of the 2020 regular season, I don’t want to dive too deep on this. Instead, I’d like to present this information through the prism of having an idea of where the Bears are and will be financially in the coming year. This team has serious needs now and in the future (hello, A-Rob extension?) and has to balance those needs and luxury pieces against the cap. We have a bit of time before we cross that bridge, but it’s only right to acknowledge said bridge exists.
Even still … being $7.7 million over the projected 2021 salary cap is nothing to sneeze at if you’re the Bears. Then again, it’s slightly better than the early projections that had the Bears being more than $10 million over the estimated cap. Maybe the Bears would be wise to roll whatever savings they have this year into 2021 to help soften their cap blow. It’s just a thought, even if it’s one that doesn’t need to be explored in detail at this time.