As reported by Brad Biggs today the Bears have around 12 million in cap space. We need to make more room...
Step 1: Restructure Tillman - He's set to make 8 million this year. We could extend him 3 years, convert 7 million of that to a signing bonus, and make his cap hit around 3 million saving 5 million.
Cap space now = 17 million
Step 2: Cut Kellen Davis, Matt Spaeth, and Matt Toeina - This saves 5.2 million. Toeina was never active this year, we all know why Davis should be cut, and Spaeth is way overpaid.
Cap space now = 22.2 million
Step 3: Extend Cutler - What happens if Cutler goes on a MVP/Flacco run (which we should all be hoping and expecting), then we're due to pay him 20 mil a year? There aren't any QBs available this year or next year that are better. Cutler is our franchise guy, we need to extend him now while it will still be relatively cheap. 6 years - 68 million, 21 million signing bonus, min salary this year, saving another 5 million
Cap space now = 27.2 million
Urlacher - 2 years 8 million - Cap hit 2013 = 4 million
Izzy - 2 years 6 million - Cap hit 2013 = 3 million
Roach - 3 years 10 million - Cap hit 2013 = 2 million
Melton - 6 years 45 million 15 million signing bonus - Cap hit 2013 = 3 million
Louis - 4 years 7 million 2 million signing bonus - Cap hit 2013 = 1 million
Cap Space now = 14.2 million
Sign Andy Levitre 6 years 40 million 12 million signing bonus - Cap Hit 2013 = 3 million
Sign Dustin Keller 4 years 16 million 6 million signing bonus - Cap Hit 2013 = 2 million
Cap Space = 5.2 million
One Common misconception about cap space...you need a ton of cap space to sign draft picks. FALSE Only your top 51 players count against the cap. So when you draft a guy, you drop someone off of the roster and free up $405,000 (Our botton 10 or 15 players on the roster are making that). So let's look at last year. Shea McClellin's cap hit was 1.5 million and Alshon's was 825,000. Drop 2 guys off the roster which frees up 810,000. So we're basically paying for one guy at 1.5 million. The rest of our picks only cost 215,000 more (Evan Rodrguez at 537,000 + Evan Rodriguez at 502,000= 1,039,000 - 810,000= 229,000), so 1.729 million for draft picks last year. And considering we don't have a third rounder, it should be even less than that this year. This is a lot less than the "5 million" number always thrown around here.
Cap space now = 3.5 million
Same idea with any of potential of our lower tier free agents. They won't be getting paid more than 800,000 tops( and that's over estimating)with a lot getting around the minimum, so every resign will only cost up to 300,000 or 400,000, except for the players taking the place of the 3 players cut. 3.5 million is plenty to sign back 6 or 7 of those guys. (Jonathan Scott, Kelvin Hayden, Nate Collins, Zack Bowman, Josh McCown, Armando Allen, Amobi Okoye).
Round 1: Tavon Austin
Round 2/4: Brian Schwenke/Tyrann Mathieu (I've seen both of these players as high as 2 and they've been there in 4, too, so which ever order I don't care, just get both.)
Round 5: Joseph Fauria
Round 6: Tom Wort
QB - Jay Cutler, Josh Mccown, Matt Blanchard
TE - Dustin Keller, Joseph Fauria, Evan Rodriguez
FB - UDFA Fullback
LT - Branden Albert, Jonathan Scott
LG - Andy Levitre, James Brown
C - Brian Schwenke
DE - Julius Peppers, Shea McClellin
DT - Henry Melton, Amobi Okoye
NT - Stephen Paea, Nate Collins
DE - Corey Wooton, Israel Idonije
MLB - Brian Urlacher, Tom Wort, (JT Thomas/FA/or one of the other random linebackers we have on roster)
CB - Charles Tillman, Kelvin Hayden,
NCB - Tyrann Mathieu
P - Adam Podlesh
K - Robbie Gould
LS - Patrick Mannelly
So there you go, all these big name free agency signings can be done, all needs filled. We just have to structure the money right. I think this is a superbowl winning roster right?