Eddie Goldman was one of the league’s better nose tackles for a while during his career.
And for a bit, he was a popular Ryan Pace draft pick who was productive and impactful. But after sitting out 2020 due to COVID concerns, only to return in 2021, miss time due to COVID (and other injuries), and not look as strong as he did before taking time away felt telling. As in we might be witnessing a player about to enter a phase of decline. And we’re not the only ones reading those tea leaves: “With a completely new regime in Chicago, you know the entire roster is under review,” writes NFL Network analytics expert Cynthia Frelund, who examines an assortment of standout NFC players who could be on the chopping block. “Goldman recorded just a 3.9 percent pressure rate in 2021, his lowest figure since NGS started tracking that in 2016. That’s a big cap number for a big man who could be on the decline.”
Oof! That stings. But it sure looks like (based on the data) this guy isn’t coming back:
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) June 25, 2021
While fair, the assessment from Frelund is alarming. Whether you dive into traditional stats because that’s your go-to. Or if you cite Frelund’s use of Next-Gen Stats metrics, there is evidence pointing hinting that Goldman’s decline is either coming or already here. Either way — yikes. Father Time remains undefeated. But we weren’t expecting to write about Goldman being on the decline at age 28. This leaves new GM Ryan Poles with an important decision to make. Although, it might be an easy one when it is put in proper perspective.
Cutting Goldman would create $6,660,407 in newfound cap space. And while the Bears’ $23,329,726 is a healthy chunk of change, there could always be more. Parting ways with Goldman is one way to add to the spending budget. Doing so would bring Chicago’s available cap space to $31,990,133. In doing so, it would push the Bears above the Steelers and Commanders (still weird to write that) and into the top-10 of teams with the most cap space. This is something the Bears should be shooting for this offseason. Because even if they don’t spend it all, the rollover potential could be helpful down the line.
Once you consider Goldman’s 2022 cap number ($11,810,407), dead-cap hit ($5.15 million), and flipping the defensive front from 3-4 to 4-3, it becomes tough to envision him in Chicago for much longer. And when you put into perspective the potential cap savings and the possibilities of how that money could be better spent, then it should be easy to see what decision the Bears should be making.
On an semi-related closing note:
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) February 24, 2022