The Chicago Bears have conducted business in a fairly normal fashion thus far. They restructured the contracts of Khalil Mack, Eddie Jackson, and Cody Whitehair. This helped them get under the salary cap. Allen Robinson was franchised tagged. Cairo Santos and Mario Edwards Jr. also received long-term extensions. That means some of their most important in-house free agents are taken care of.
Still, it feels like the team has made enough moves to clear out more space. Without the Edwards deal accounted for yet, the Bears have somewhere in the vicinity of $2.7 million in cap space. One must assume Edwards’ hit will bring that right up to the ceiling. Remember free agency begins on Wednesday, March 17th. Just over two days away. If they plan to conduct more business, they need more space correct?
So why the stoppage on moves?
According to a source, much of it has to do with the questions at quarterback. It’s common knowledge the Bears are pushing hard to make a splash at that position. Russell Wilson is the hottest name out there. A big reason Chicago hasn’t pushed forward on their other notable cap moves is they’re waiting for an indication from Seattle whether a deal for the star quarterback is becoming possible.
In the event that happens, the Bears are prepared to make some noteworthy sacrifices in order to bring it to fruition. That includes trading defensive stalwarts Akiem Hicks and Kyle Fuller. Both of whom would bring in a combined $21.5 million in cap space. GM Ryan Pace is willing to do it, but only if Wilson or another notable QB is definitely in play. Remember Hicks turns 32 this year and Fuller is 29.
Chicago Bears are a team to watch in the next week or so
They still have moves they could make to clear more cap space. A big one they’ve yet to pull the trigger on that seems somewhat obvious is cutting Jimmy Graham. Though the tight end had nine TD catches last season, he turns 34 this year and would secure the Bears $7 million in cap space if released. With Cole Kmet hoping to take the next step, this feels like a necessary move. So why hasn’t it happened?
Once again it comes back to Wilson. Reports surfaced that Graham was in contact with his former QB, putting over Chicago huge as a potential destination. This may have played a role in the seven-time Pro Bowler putting the team on his list of four options. The fact Graham is still on the roster is a decent indicator the Chicago Bears feel they have a shot at him.
If he were to get cut? That would be telling.
The Bears aren’t going to come out and tell anybody what they’re doing. Pace is a master of misdirection and keeping his intentions covert. All one can do is follow the breadcrumbs. It’s apparent the team isn’t gearing up for any big moves yet. This is because they are awaiting clarity on the quarterback situation. Once they have it, the next series of cap moves will follow. They’re prepared to go big if necessary.