The NFL’s Salary Cap Could Blow Past $220M, Which Would Would Be Great News For the Bears

As we continue to move away from the pandemic-altered 2020 season, we see continued ballooning of the NFL’s salary cap. And that’s good news for Ryan Poles and the Chicago Bears.

After a one-year slide to $182.5 million in 2021, the cap this year jumped to $208.2 million. And another leap appears to be in store for the cap in 2023, with NFL Network insiders Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport reporting that the cap could rise again and get past $220 million next year. The details of another cap jump have me rubbing my hands in anticipation like a Batman villain ready to unleash another plot to take over Gotham:

As the tweet above suggests, there’s a “but” here — and it is one we must address. Because reporting from Pelissero and Rapoport underscores that the league has yet to make a cap projection just yet. And part of that has to do with the unknowns of the TV revenue side of things. Most notably, what happens with NFL Sunday Ticket? In other words, the NFL and NFLPA won’t fully know what that cap number will look like until that shakes out.

As things stand right now, OverTheCap.com estimates the Bears are $124,435,758 under a projected $225 million cap. That feels like a lofty number. And I’m not 100 percent sure the league’s cap will reach those heights this upcoming season. But it sounds like it can. At minimum, this gives us a round number to deal with as we try to sort through what could be coming down the pipeline for these Bears. Arming the Bears’ general manager with north of $100 million in cap space and at least eight picks in the upcoming NFL Draft should make for an active offseason for Chicago’s football team. Can we just fast-forward through the rest of the regular season?

There are no shortage of players who could inspire the Bears to flex their cap muscle. In search of offensive line help? There are *FOUR* offensive linemen ranking among the top 25 free agents this winter. Nudge, nudge. Think Chicago should prioritize the other side of the line of scrimmage? I can’t blame you. The defensive tackle market is going to explode — and the Bears should be all over it! OK, so the wide receiver market leaves a lot to be desired. That means Poles could need to seek alternative means of bolstering the skill positions around Justin Fields. Can I interest you in teaming Saquon Barkley with Fields and Khalil Herbert in the backfield? That offense could generate a ton of fun and myriad highlights. And I don’t think the cost will be as prohibitive as others might believe.

In any case, I like that the cap number is going up. And I’m digging the options the Bears could recruit to Chicago. Although, I imagine other teams are drooling at the idea of a cap jump. But there’s no one who has it like the Bears. Let’s max out, shall we?

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.

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