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NFL sets 2022 salary cap at $208.2 million

NFL: Super Bowl LVI-SoFi Stadium Views Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday it was reported that the NFL’s salary cap was increasing to $208.2 million, which is an increase of $25.7 million from last year’s salary cap of $182.5. The cap usually jumps up around $10 million per season, but with the pandemic causing 2021’s cap to fall from $198.2 million in 2020, this significant boost was expected.

The Chicago Bears will now have $26.3 million in space according to Over The Cap, but keep in mind there are 35 free agents from last year’s team that has come off the books. There are also some void year players that will have their cap hits tabulated once they are officially released. Over The Cap also calculated “effective cap space” which is their estimate on what each team will have once they bring their rosters to 51 players, which is the number of players that counts towards the yearly cap, and they have the Bears at $20.4 million.

The Bears are 12th in the league in both cap space and effective cap space, and they are 7th in dead money for the 2022 season at just a bit over $16 million.

General manager Ryan Poles has a few veterans he could either trade or release that will free up even more cash, and with the league year starting on March 16th (i.e. free agency) there should be some decisions announced soon.

The cap being set also means that the franchise tag and fifth-year option figures are set, but the Bears have no one that is a realistic tag candidate, and they didn’t have a first round pick in 2019 that would need an option picked up.