The Chicago Bears are in last place in the NFC North at (3-7), and if the season were to end today, they’d hold the sixth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Bears are in a clear rebuild mode, and while general manager Ryan Poles had some missteps in his first few months on the job, he was also handicapped by the roster and salary cap he inherited.
Long-time WCG member and writer at Da Bears Blog, Jonathan Wood, was a guest on today’s Bear With Me postgame show with Robert Schmitz, but he also fired off a Tweet* that I had to share with you guys here.
The Bears are spending $50M on their offense, the least in the NFL (median $75M)— Johnathan Wood (@Johnathan_Wood1) November 13, 2022
The Bears are spending $46M on their defense, the 2nd least in the NFL (median $65M)
The Bears have $90M in dead money, most in the NFL (median $26M)
The NFL’s 2022 salary cap is $208.2 million, so the Bears are playing with about 43% less money this season.
Today’s loss to the Detroit Lions was heartbreaking, but the fact that quarterback Justin Fields was able to keep them in the game at all is remarkable. Fields accounted for 314 yards (167 passing and 147 rushing) of Chicago’s 408 total, and he had four touchdowns (two passing and two rushing). Fields has looked the part of a franchise QB these last several games, and if he continues this trajectory, the Bears will be ahead of the curve as they prepare for another roster overhaul.
Chicago’s offensive and defensive lines are due for a free-agency and/or draft upgrade, and they’ll look to make a splash with well over $100 million in cap space in 2023.