The Bears have around 20 million in cap space, here is a look at the top 15 cap numbers.
1. LB Lance Briggs, $7,206,000: Franchise player earned a big payday for the first time in his career and wants more. The Bears will have to outpay the marketplace for his services. He already turned down a big-money offer and wants out of the shadow of Brian Urlacher.
- LB Brian Urlacher, $5,850,510: Played like he was worth every penny in games down the stretch. If he can vie for defensive player of the year honors next season at 30, the defense easily will be back in the top 10.
- C Olin Kreutz, $5,666,670: Six-time Pro Bowl center is the captain of a line in transition. Curiously, Angelo made reference to the center-quarterback exchange in his news conference Thursday, which seems irrelevant to team's current position.
- DE Adewale Ogunleye, $5,563,055: Coming off his best season with the Bears, he was likely the most consistent player on defense and just about a bargain at this price relative to his production.
- CB Charles Tillman, $5,432,386: New deal secured Tillman for the long term. He played well in a secondary that was otherwise nothing but musical chairs. A building block moving forward.
- S Adam Archuleta, $5,098,600: The good news, if coach Lovie Smith wants to keep him, is that the Bears already have given him the bulk of his money. Second time in two years with two teams he really struggled.
- LT John Tait, $5,000,000: Sure, he might wind up back on the right side, but ankle injuries made the season trying for Tait, who has been a good soldier. He's making what veterans command at left tackle.
- RT Fred Miller, $4,704,560: A huge drop-off in performance makes Miller's future iffy. It's hard to imagine they would bring him back at anywhere near this price.
- CB Ricky Manning Jr., $3,365,000: Fell out of favor with the coaching staff and remained at his nickel spot even when he was needed as a starter.
- S Mike Brown, $3,156,666: Earned his salary based on years served, not performance, after another injury-ruined season. If he's back, look for the club to seek protection.
- RB Cedric Benson, $3,133,680: Bears are unwilling at this point to admit missing with the No. 4 pick from 2005. This represents a fraction of the $13.8 million he has pocketed so far.
- WR Muhsin Muhammad, $3,119,080: Combination of age, production and salary might put him in line for a restructuring.
- CB Nathan Vasher, $2,868,726: Got a true sense of his value during the second game against the Vikings. Figure is likely to go up based on new contract.
- DT Tommie Harris, $2,650,450: After the dust settles from free agency, it will be interesting to see how the Bears proceed with the three-time Pro Bowl performer who was dominating on a bad left leg at the end of the season.
- QB Brian Griese, $2,500,000: It's a fair price for a backup with experience. Unfair has been the treatment he has been subjected to around here.