Chicago Sun-Times

Totaling salary cap savings from Black Monday

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The ramifications of Black Monday, when the Bears cut ties with three veteran starters in right tackle Fred Miller, wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad and defensive tackle Darwin Walker, will be felt ultimately when the team begins signing players in free agency. General manager Jerry Angelo is trying to do that before the market opens at 11 p.m. Feb. 28 in pursuing linebacker Lance Briggs, wide receiver Bernard Berrian and special teamer Brendon Ayanbadejo, who will all be unrestricted free agents. He’s also offered a contract to defensive tackle Tommie Harris, who is entering the final year of his contract.

Here is exactly what the Bears saved in the salary cap by cutting these players:

Miller

2008 cap figure: $5,806,720
Signing bonus remaining (dead money): $2,400,000
Savings: $3,406,720

Muhammad

2008 cap figure: $3,306,720
Signing bonus remaining (dead money): $2,400,000
Savings: $906,720

Walker

2008 cap figure: $6,500,000
Signing bonus remaining (dead money): $400,000
Savings: $6,100,000

Total savings: $10,413,440

That gives the Bears roughly $30 million in available cap space.

As one league executive said, it’s really no longer about that figure because the cap has grown so much. Now, it’s about cash on hand and in the budget to sign players. With $30 million, that’s enough room for Angelo to sign all of his own players he wants and make a major splash on the open market. That won’t happen. Just keep in mind, the difference between $20 million in cap room and $30 million really isn’t going to change what the team accomplishes in free agency. The cuts were not made because of money.

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18 Comments

Looks like were ready to sign two free agent offensive lineman and trade down in the first round. Go Bears! Trade Down BABY! Think about, If you were a GM with a great scouting ( B. Depaul ) You could win championships and be in the playoffs continuesly by avoiding first round hype and money. Where do you think Lance, Peanut, Nathan, Alex, Devin, Olin, and on and on come from? The first round? I don't think so. Trade Down BABY! Go Scouting Department!!!!!!!!!!

This was very smart thinking by the Bears...get them out now, before the start of free agency, so you are ready to go right out of the gate. Making the offers to our own free agents is also very astute. Now all we need to do is restructure Mike Brown's deal, release Archuleta and Ricky Manning, and we are ready to go for the official offseason.

Angelo, as usual, does not get much credit for managing the franchise, but we have managed to retain a ton of talent and be players in free agency without causing a lot of cap strife. I think Cliff Stein deserves some of the credit, but JA is earning his pay once again.

I wonder how they will squander this great opportunity to build a champion. Maybe they will accidentally do something right. Keep your fingers crossed. We need good luck to compensate for severe shortfalls in the personnel evaluation and head coaching areas. Considering these facts it means we have a problem at the executive level as well.

Why are we giving Jerry Angelo credit for cutting these under achievers? He was the one who brought them in and overpaid for them in the first place.

Kirk brings up a good point. Does anybody have any idea why Archuleta has not been cut? He did not even come close to earning his pay this year.

They are going to probably try to re-work something with Archuleta because he and Lovie are so close. It's rumored that they have like a father/son relationship and Lovie wants to do anything to keep him around. If it happens it will be at a very reduced rate. Until I see some key free agents in Bears uni's then I am still going to hold my breath. This is not and never will be a free spending organization. I wanna see a run at Julius Jones once he doesn't get the top money he thinks he's gonna get.

Archuleta was all front end money. He is making the vet minimum this year so he is very cap friendly (and defensively challenged). Remember when they sold us on PSL and the Bank One partnership was to have more money on hand to sign FA. Well if they don't do it now they don't have any excuses.

Ok, well this should prove that they have no excuse to lock up Lance Briggs. Given that Urlacher just went through neck surgery, we have to look into Briggs being the longterm answer for the linebacker spot. If Briggs goes, and Urlacher takes a long time to recover, we are in a horrible position. Time for the Bears organization to stop just trying to fill seats, but to become a contender again.

It’s time to let go of Brian Grisse and save about 4.5 million more cap space. And Rickey Manning and John Taits needs to go too… audios umigos….

Tait is a insurance policy on the line he is at least serviceable and on the right side might revive him for a season or two until a replacement is ready. With the youth R.Manning could be expendable but keep him around for camp to create competition could bring out the best in the winner. Let Grossman find out the market for himself then bring him back in a incentive laden contract if someone wants to overpay for him let him go. Another Jones in town isn't smart too many backs will be availible in the draft. Jerry here's you and Lovie's chance to show you actually know, get it right or get out of town.

That is my major concern with drafting a RB. The Bears have been trying to draft "the guy" forever. It's almost more upsetting to talk about the Bears inability to draft a good RB than a QB. Why not sign a guy like J. Jones, who is proven and then take a chance on a guy in later rounds. Seriously, they can't draft RB's! The a-train was okay for a short time but he has since gone on to be a decent #2. I can't think of another good RB that was drafted by the Bears in the first couple of rounds.

Anyone here really think that Lovi or Angelo have a clue on how to fix this mess, I don't.They can revamp the O Line,bring a top notch rb,bring back Brigs,sign Randy Moss They can Draft a Qb or they can bring Rex back they can give the job to Orton and the problems will be the same, you know why? because they don't have a teacher,Montana,Marino,Steve Yong,Farve every good qb had something in comon a good qb coach, we have Pep Hamilton c'mon.

With 30 mil under the salary cap; I hope Jerry Angelo has plans on re-signing Rex, Bernard, Lance, Brandon, & Tommie to keep that core in tact and sign a younger veteran Offensive Lineman like Alan Faneca to enhance our running game.

here's my solution...

go after faneca and move tait back to the right side.

trade our first round pick for a stud receiver like chad johnson or larry fitzgerald.

draft OL in round 2

draft a rb in round 3

re-sign grossman and berrian to incentive-laden deals

WHAT 30MILLION MEANS NOTHING FOR FREE AGENCY THEN WHY THE HELL CUT THEM

keep grossman,berrian,briggs and draft OL in round 3,keep mike brown to train 2round draft pick and get RB bagup from charger,Also sign tommie to a new contract

You can't re-sign Berrian to incentive-laden he's a free agent why wait till round 2 to draft a stud OT you can wait till the second third round pick and still get a good back first two rounds address your old OL. Get one tackle free agent and one guard free agent to hold down the fort until young ones are ready. If you sign Berrian and Briggs there will be no money for top F/A WR those WR's nj-bear are not free-agents and a first round player is not going to be near enough, but some will be cut i.e. Javon Walker. For RB Julius Jones might have something to prove could be had at a fair price, but Michael Turner will be too expensive (he will be overpriced)in the late rounds you my see Slaton (W.VA), Jones (So.Fla) to name a few still there. The thing is not to freaking panic address the O-Line it is the most important.

Forget Julius Jones. Been watching him in Dallas since he was drafted. He is a cut below his brother. He is soft, not durable, injury-prone, doesn't play if hurt, can't be counted on and doesn't get the tough yards ... or have the speed to break a long one. Plenty of good running backs in lower rounds. Get the offensive linemen at the top of the draft. They are more durable than running backs and last for years. The offensive line opened no holes last year. I think the Bears can live with Benson with an upgraded O-Line, eventhough I dont care for him much and after watching him at Texas cringed when he was drafted that high. He has shown some promise, with terrible line play.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on February 20, 2008 12:30 AM.

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