Tuesday, March 21, 2023

NFL Agent Sheds Light On Ryan Poles’ Likely Free Agency Plan


The Chicago Bears must navigate free agency before they get to the draft. GM Ryan Poles did so much work over the past several months to reach this point. He unloaded every veteran player with a hefty contract that wasn’t nailed down. Khalil Mack, Danny Trevathan, Robert Quinn, and others were all sent packing. It didn’t matter how much dead money the Bears accrued. Poles was focused on the future. He wanted to free up as much cap space as possible so he could reshape the roster how he wanted.

Now he is about to see the fruits of that labor. Chicago has more cap space than any other team by a significant margin. He is free to throw money around almost at well. If the Bears GM has his heart set on a particular player, he can offer practically any contract he wants. That said, some around the league don’t envision that happening. Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic caught up with a player agent, asking if Chicago would be aggressive. The answer he got wasn’t enthusiastic.

While the Bears will have far and away the most cap space, one agent wondered whether or not they’ll be big spenders. He tossed out the scenario in which the “rebuild” takes longer and goes into 2024, as opposed to the Bears going all in when the free-agent class isn’t deep.

Ryan Poles doesn’t have to feel an urgency.

His intention was never to build through free agency. He made that clear from the moment he took over. The Bears will build through the draft. That remains the object. Free agency will be used to plug certain holes. That said, don’t expect any reckless spending. Nothing about this 2023 class suggests the Bears can hit a home run anyway. The lack of star power is evident. Poles is better off making calculated deals with two or three solid veterans and shifting his focus to the draft afterward.

Smart GMs always budget their money, keeping some set aside for later. The Bears can easily spend a lot of money this spring and still have the most going into 2024 as well. By that point, the team should be a more attractive destination presuming their young talent begins to ascend and Justin Fields takes another step forward. It is all about sticking to the plan. Chicago will make moves in free agency. That is certain. Just don’t expect them to go crazy. This regime isn’t interested in a quick fix.


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J Diemer
J Diemer
Feb 9, 2023 6:24 pm

This rebuild will take to 2026 before we win 8 games.
Same Ole Same Ole bears
CHEAP ASS,S all the way.

Martin Melhus
Martin Melhus
Feb 8, 2023 10:08 am

Another thing about that salary cap floor is that it’s easy to dodge. For example, they offer Justin Fields a new contract that is exactly the same as the old contract, except that he gets a 10 million dollar bonus if he gets 5 interceptions this season. Now, the chances that Fields gets 5 interceptions are virtually zero, since he doesn’t play on defense. But that 10 million dollars counts as cap that gets used up, and when Fields doesn’t make the bonus, that cap money rolls forward to next year, so the Bears could build up a cap `reserve’… Read more »

Gator Joe
Gator Joe
Feb 8, 2023 9:17 am

Usually teams on the floor will extend a few of their core guys. Kmet and Mooney are first in line with JJ right behind.

Feb 8, 2023 8:23 am

Some of that $$ can go for contact extensions to Mooney, Kmet and maybe Monty, others.

JB Books
JB Books
Feb 8, 2023 4:51 am

I heard the required 90% cap spend amount. Is this true? Could the Bears do a trade acquiring either picks or players by somehow absorbing other teams’ guaranteed contract money?

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