UPDATE — Eddie Goldman’s time in Chicago is up:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) March 14, 2022
The rest of our original post is as follows.
There was a time when Eddie Goldman was a feared defender in the trenches.
The Bears plopped Goldman in the middle of their defensive line, watched him eat up blockers and ball carriers, then saw the rest of the defense flourish around him. No, the life of a nose tackle in a 3-4 defense isn’t glorious. But if you can do it at a high level, the reward (such as the extension Goldman signed after his rookie deal) is worth the grunt work.
However, between the slip in Goldman’s play and flip to a 4-3 defensive front, his time in Chicago is coming to an end:
After trade attempts, the #Bears are releasing starting NT Eddie Goldman, source said. He is only 28 years old and will have a nice market.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 11, 2022
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports the Bears are cutting Goldman. The move comes after the Bears tried (and failed) to find a trade partner. It isn’t as if Goldman doesn’t have a market. A space-eating nose tackle *SHOULD* have interest in the open market. But it has long felt inevitable that Chicago would part ways with him. Hence, I imagine teams found it difficult to justify making a trade. Especially for a player about to hit free agency. Fair enough?
It has been a tough few years for Goldman. He sat out in 2020 due to COVID concerns, unexpectedly skipped out on mandatory minicamp in 2021, ended up on the COVID/Reserve list twice, and missed additional time due to his status as an unvaccinated player. On top of all that, the data shows his skills diminished in his return to action. Tough break all around.
In a way, it is a shame that this is what it has come to for the Bears. Releasing once prominent, popular, and productive players is never easy. But the writing is on the wall. New GM Ryan Poles appears to be doing everything in his power to rid his team of the Ryan Pace stink. This isn’t to say that the players aren’t good. They certainly aren’t awful. However, when new eyes get a look at a fresh set of problems, it is often the case that the new guy breaks ties with the old regime’s guys. At least Poles made an attempt to move Goldman for some kind of future draft capital. Instead, Goldman will hit free agency. And at age 28, he probably will garner some interest.
As for Chicago’s football team, a Goldman cut (once official) clears $6,660,407 in cap space. That would bring the Bears to $38,684,133 under the NFL’s $208.2 million salary cap. Although, parting ways with Goldman opens up yet another roster spot to fill. Then again, the Bears were going to be looking for fresh blood in that spot anyway because they likely weren’t running it back with a 3-4 nose tackle anchoring a defensive line with four linemen.