In searching for silver linings in dark clouds lurking over the Bears’ current situation, I’d like to quickly take a glance into the league’s financial future and how it could impact the Chicago Bears.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reports optimism that the NFL’s 2021 salary cap could be “significantly higher” than the $175 million that was estimated during the offseason. Between the possibility of full stadiums in 2021 and incoming cash from new TV deals, next year’s cap could settle around $195 million.
Alright, it’s not much. But it’s not nothing. And for a team like the Bears, it could be a pretty big deal. A cap of $195 million is a slight decrease from the $198.2 million the league is working with this year. HOWEVA … it’s significantly better than the projected $175 million cap.
In October, the Bears were estimated to be over a projected $175 million cap by $7.7 million. If that turned out to be the case, then Chicago would’ve been looking at some sizeable and noteworthy cuts to (1) get under the cap and (2) position itself to make necessary offseason changes. A more recent update OverTheCap.com projects the Bears to be $6,944,572 over the cap in 2021. But if we bump that cap number to $195 million, Chicago would be $12,055,428 under the cap. That’s a significant swing, to say the least.
A couple of things before we get too far down the rabbit hole. For starters, we’ve got a long ways to go before the league settles on a number. And because league revenues will be down without fans in the stands – among other reasons – there figures to be some negotiation regarding what that cap number ultimately ends up being. Beyond that, we’re not certain who’s going to be in charge of the Bears whenever that cap number drops. Nor do we know what direction the team will be heading in. And that’s not withstanding non-football factors. We have no idea where we’ll be as a country when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic next fall. It’s reasonable to hope and wish that restrictions will justifiably be gone. But we know better than to expect anything.
In the end, there is so much uncertainty around so many different factors, it would be unreasonable to delve too far into this matter. But at lest we have something positive to report from an area of concern.