Ryan Pace Continues to Push Money into the Future to Pay for Today

At the most basic levels, I kinda sorta dig the Jesse James signing.

James could be a solid TE3 for the Bears. Someone who can excel as a blocker, be useful in the red zone, and start in a pinch if someone ahead of him on the depth chart gets hurt. At minimum, James’ arrival brings competition to the position beyond what is happening at the top with Cole Kmet and Jimmy Graham. Don’t get me wrong. This won’t be the sexiest competition at camp. But seeing JP Holtz, Jesper Horsted, Scooter Harrington, and James duke it out for reps will be fun to follow.

HOWEVA … I just don’t understand why this deal had to be this way:

A one-year deal worth as much as $2.15 million and includes just $1.65 million in guarantees won’t break the bank. Nor will it limit the Bears in a substantial way. But it is odd to see the Bears clear a roster spot, create $1.2 million of salary cap space, and use it on a third tight end. Meanwhile, the team just let a starting-caliber cornerback it reportedly had interest in sign elsewhere for a deal in the same ballpark. Sure, Steven Nelson’s one-year maxes out around $4 million. So, it’s a little more total money. But in the grand scheme of things, I struggle to understand how a third TE is more of a priority to Chicago than a cornerback with ample starting experience. That might be what befuddles me the most.

And then there’s this: The James signing represents the latest in an odd trend. It’s another one-year deal with built in void years. Quarterback Andy Dalton and right tackle Germain Ifedi have deals that also have void years. And even though I understand the point of void years being a vehicle to manipulate the cap, I can’t grasp why the Bears continue to push money into the future. This franchise might be better off taking the one-year hit in what isn’t expected to be a go-for-it year. Kicking the can down the road for this specific Bears team — one coming off consecutive 8-8 seasons and is about to pivot to a future with a QB on a rookie-scale deal — simply doesn’t make sense.

Maybe there are cap considerations I’m not taking into account right now. I suppose that is a real possibility. But creating contracts with void years for third-string tight ends doesn’t sound like the best use of cap space. Nothing like cutting into future spending for reasons beyond my comprehension. But, hey, maybe the cap will grow leaps and bound beyond what projections show. At least, that’s what Pace and the Bears should hope happens.

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

more bears news

Happy Father’s Day! Sunday Ticket, Kevin Warren’s New Gig, and Other Bears Bullets

I spent Saturday doing cool Chicago summer things like emo brunch, record-store shopping, and celebrating 15 years of Daisy Cutter at Half Acre. Today, I'll spend time flushing all of the bad stuff from my system. But first, some Bears...

Kmet, Pace, Cunningham, Poles, Bagent, and Other Bears Bullets

A brief and random collection of scatter-brained Bears thoughts for your Saturday morning because my head is all over the place. I still can't believe the Atlanta Falcons turned down a fourth-round pick from the Bears to move back one...

Here We Go Again: Aurora Wants to be the Next Home of Chicago Bears Football

The latest in the Chicago Bears stadium watch has us looking outside of city limits for a possible landing spot for a stadium to be built later. In a recent op-ed in the Chicago Tribune co-authored by Aurora Mayor Richard...

WATCH: New Behind the Scenes Footage of NFL Draft Night Shows How Close We Were to a Bears-Falcons Trade

On Night 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft, Chicago Bears General Manager Ryan Poles told the story of how Assistant General Manager Ian Cunningham kept him from making a trade-up he might've regretted. And now, we know how close the...

Jayden Daniels Becomes the Latest Rookie QB to Sign His Rookie Deal

Two of the top three picks in the 2024 NFL Draft have signed their rookie contracts. Sorry, Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Williams is not one of them — yet. Jayden Daniels, the No. 2 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, has...

Adding Aurora to the List of Cities Wanting to be the Bears’ Next Home

The Chicago Bears continue receiving interest from municipalities outside of city limits wanting to be the team's next hometown. With talks regarding an Arlington Heights move stalling, we've seen Naperville and Waukegan throw their respective hats in the ring as...

Gervon Dexter Sr. is Ripping a Page Out of Caleb Williams’ Playbook

In a must-read story by Gabby Hajduk at the Bears' website, there is an image share of Gervon Dexter Sr.'s Lock Screen, which is a screen shot of the Notes app titled 2024 goals. Immediately, my brain went to place...

Tom Brady is Keeping an Eye on Caleb Williams

Caleb Williams wants to be the greatest of all-time. So ... what does The G.O.A.T. have to say about that? In a conversation on NFL Network, Tom Brady has quite the takeaway as he discusses Caleb Williams' goal of winning...

Takeaways Before the Break, No Campbell, NFL Punishment Scale is Whack, and Other Bears Bullets

The first Friday of Bears summer break is here. Let's quickly dive into Bullets so we can enjoy more of our Friday. Kevin Fishbain (The Athletic) has some takeaways as the Bears say toodles to OTAs and minicamps and jet...

Around the NFL: New Kickoff Rules Will be in Madden 25, Netflix’s Receiver Trailer, Falcons Dinged, More

NFL Notes — The new NFL kickoff rules have front offices and coaching staffs rethinking how they approach kickoffs this season. From adding additional return personnel to reimagining personnel usage on the actual kickoffs, the gears are turning. How EA...

Latest News

Today’s UEFA European Championship 2024 Predictions, Picks and Odds – Monday, June 17

Seeking betting odds for every 2024 UEFA European Championship match on Monday? We have them listed for you below.Before wagering on UEFA Euro action on Monday, we've got you covered with plenty of betting info about the day's matches.Head to...

Enhanced Box Score: Cardinals 2, Cubs 1 – June 16, 2024

The Cubs lose another series. They have still not won a three-game series in over a month. And it was another just completely meh, blah, un-fun game. Patrick Wisdom tried to do the thing in the 9th - fake rally...

Spain vs. Italy Euros Odds, Match Time and Preview – June 20

In its second match of the 2024 UEFA European Championship, Spain plays Italy on Thursday, June 20 at 3:00 PM ET.Tune in to FOX to see Spain take on Italy. In this group-stage game, Spain is +115 to win and...

Sunday’s WNBA Picks and Predictions – June 16

In one of the three compelling matchups on the WNBA slate today, the Seattle Storm and the Phoenix Mercury hit the court at Footprint Center.Interested in the best bets for today's WNBA games? This article features computer picks for every...

Happy Father’s Day! Sunday Ticket, Kevin Warren’s New Gig, and Other Bears Bullets

I spent Saturday doing cool Chicago summer things like emo brunch, record-store shopping, and celebrating 15 years of Daisy Cutter at Half Acre. Today, I'll spend time flushing all of the bad stuff from my system. But first, some Bears...

Happy Dad’s Day, Sky Starting Lineup Change, Another Trade Up Rumor? And Further Bulls Bullets

Considering the date, I'd like to use this intro to send some love my father's way. I have that man to thank for my Chicago sports fandom (which ... actually ... should I thank him for that?), and I wouldn't...

Angel Reese Sporting Perfect (Villainous) Kicks for Second Battle with Caitlin Clark

Two days after Angel Reese's first battle with Caitlin Clark at the pro level, she made herself clear: I'll take the bad guy role." Reese's team was under fire after teammate Chennedy Carter committed a hard foul on Clark in...

Yankees vs. Red Sox Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Sunday, June 16, 2024

The New York Yankees (50-23) are -137 favorites to take Game 3 of th series from the Boston Red Sox (36-35) Sunday at 7:10 PM ET. The teams enter the matchup with the series record tied, and the underdog Red...

Win Totals, Playoff Odds, and Best NFL Futures for 2024 Season

As the 2024 NFL season approaches, fans and bettors alike are eagerly analyzing win totals, playoff odds, and other futures to make informed decisions. This comprehensive guide will break down the key betting opportunities for the upcoming season, including Super...

Yankees vs. Red Sox Probable Starting Pitchers – June 16

The Boston Red Sox (36-35) and the New York Yankees (50-23) square off at Fenway Park on Sunday at 7:10 PM ET.The probable pitchers are Marcus Stroman (6-2) for the Yankees and Kutter Crawford (2-6) for the Red Sox.Yankees vs....

more bears news