Chicago Sun-Times

Angelo just found another $4 million to spend, if he wants

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Jerry Angelo just got an extra $4 million to spend.

That doesn't mean he's going to rush into free agency when it begins in a little more than 27 hours.

Adam Schefter of the NFL Network reported that the salary cap, which was expected to be at $123 million for 2009, has been bumped up to $127 million.

"Because teams didn't spend as much as they were supposed to under the collective bargaining agreement the past three years, teams were notified Wednesday that the salary cap will increase over $4 million to $127 million for this coming year, according to sources with two NFL teams. The collective bargaining agreement calls for cap adjustment down if teams spend over the cap in cash and adjustment up if they don't spend up to the cap."

That's big news in Carolina and Washington, where they were pressed for room. It will also help out a team like the New York Jets, which may be looking to raid Baltimore for some players.

There is a cap-adjustment mechanism and as one source said the number gets moved every year. Last year, it moved by about $700,000. This year, it just happened to be a bigger jump. Now, the Bears are projected to have about $31 million in available room, a figure that would climb if/when John Tait's retirement becomes official. Angelo said at the combine that coach Lovie Smith and line coach Harry Hiestand had tried to talk Tait out of walking away with one year remaining on his contract.

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Great, another 4 million for us to not spend on any free agents. Maybe we can give Urlacher another undeserved pay raise instead.

The Bears are being smart. I am sick of these people that say the Bears do not spend money. What about Tait, what about Muhammad, what about the money they spent last year to retain everyone? Get over it. I guess you want the Bears to be like the Redskins and just throw money to free agents that history proves do not really help you most of the time.

What about the last 2 years? Let's let go of Mohammad and Berrian and replace them with an aging Booker and Lloyd at bargain basement prices. How well did that work? I'm not saying break the bank but could we please do something like try to sign Eugene Wilson or check into Galloway or Harrison for some veteran presence at wideout? At least ACT INTERESTED in improving this team! No, let's bury our heads in the sand and say everything will be O.K. because we brought in Rod "I did the worst job of any head coach ever" Marinelli. Give me a break.

Dave, folks like you make all Bears fans look stupid. It's the O and D lines that were the primary problem, and knowledgeable football fans know that. At least mention the freakin linemen if you are doing to diss the other parts of the team.

I must be stupid. Obviously we have an excellent receiving corp based on the fact that we haven't sniffed a pro-bowler at that position since 2001. Also our safety play has been on the decline given Mike Brown's lack of ability to stay on the field. Free safety play is crucial in the Cover-2 we use, but I am too stupid to see that. Also, name one D or O line we could realistically get (realistically O.K.) that would improve us immediately. The best options at those positions to me seem to lie in the draft. I don't thin the "answers" lie in free agency but maybe we can get quality depth. For now let's all be happy when the Bears do nothing in free agency and stay status quo when we truly need help with our wideouts and free safety. Look at our wideouts and be honest, we can compete with this corp.? Where's the depth at safety?? How ya' freakin feeling now?

At least we all agree the Bears have NOT won the Super Bowl since 1985? correct? and to do that we need at least a couple Free Agents right? Well,
Muhammed won us what? and he was a second string WR when we got him and did never attain 1st string WR stats while here and you are saying he was a legit Top Notch Free Agent? Please do not count signing your own players, that is b.s. we are talking about signing bona fide Top Notch Free Agents. Please name 1 - Just 1 mister. I am sick of fans that think that losing is fine with them and we can go to the Super Bowl w/o any Free Agents.
Please, do you really think we would all be arguing like this if the Bears had a good team?
Alright sign a great Olineman or Dlineman, better? and maybe Housh to take some pressure off Hester and Forte, unless you missed it we did squat with the players you mentioned....
Angelo did sign Tait and Garza and they helped us to the Super Bowl but hey, theyr old or retired and we need replacements now not in the draft to develope years from now but now.
The Bears are being smart? Theyre losing dude! I would rather have a stupid winner than a smart


I have a plan, Jerry and Lovie take a trip to OZ. Jerry, you need some courage to take some chances and spend some money on some half-way decent free agents. Lovie, you need some brains to figure out what to do with these players (Make adjustments at halftime). While you are both there, bring back some heart for Tommie, Urlacher, Vasher, and the rest of those overpaid candya$$es on that team!!!! And remember, there's no place like home!!!!( you all will be looking for a new one if you fail to make the playoffs this year)...GOOD LUCK and have a safe trip!!!

By Jacob on February 25, 2009 8:07 PM
The Bears are being smart. I am sick of these people that say the Bears do not spend money. What about Tait, what about Muhammad, what about the money they spent last year to retain everyone? Get over it. I guess you want the Bears to be like the Redskins and just throw money to free agents that history proves do not really help you most of the time.

Actually your dead wrong, Brad posted a thread about what the Bears spent in free agency and on themselves last year and on themselves they were middle of the pack and in Free Agency they were at the very bottom, combined they were one of the lowest spending teams in the NFL last year, in fact in free agency, they have been on the the stingiest teams for decades. Also the money they did spend last year was on bad contracts, so even though they were cheap the money they did spend was ill spent.

Mac is very right in fact if not for special teams the Bears would have been one of the worst teams in football last year. 8th weakest schedual too, don't forget that couldn't make the playoffs with a very easy scheduel. Thats a quality team there.

There are needs at O and D line but where can we realistically expect the Bears to search in free agency? Meanwhile this team lacks a real threat at WO and is shallow at free safety. Free agency at least offers quality depth at those positions. Address D and O lines through the draft and also seek additional help at LB either through the draft OR free agency.

Creighton, I'm a little scared. You and I would appear to agree. The Bears need to try to bolster this team with a few free agent moves. I'm not asking this team to overspend but could we at least look at gaining one or two diamonds in the rough through free agency. Angelo proved he could get free agents in 2005 when the majority of our starting O line were free agents. Let's go after some quality depth in free agency THIS year, rather that sit on our salary cap (shoving money into the pockets of the McCaskeys) and play "wait and see." "Next year" better be NOW.

right on tripper. let the compitition begin.

As I think back, I get why Jerry is reluctant to part with cash in free agency. Of all the players he's picked up, only Thomas Jones, John Tait and Desmond Clark have lived up to or exceeded the contracts they were given. Guys like Muhammed and Ogunleye never materialized into what they were hyped to be, and it seems as though Angelo's philosophy is to treat free agency like the draft. He tries to identify players who've done well and shone flashes but who are in the shadow of another player, with the idea that if this player is given the opportunity to be "The Guy", Jerry will find the perverbial diamond-in-the-rough.

Unfortunately, Jerry is looking for value in all the wrong places, if you will. Free agency isn't about finding value as much as it is about locating that very rare collectable that you just can't get anywhere else. But for some guys their ego won't allow them to admit they can't find this collectable, or at least something really close, for far less money. After all they're a collector, that's what they do. For example, instead of throwing gobs of money at Muhsin he should have packaged high draft picks, even if it meant two 1st rounders, for Steve Smith.

GM's balk at giving away high picks but when you factor in the cost of the contracts and the realistic failure rate of 50% (or worse) for 1st round talent just to be a consistant starter, it balances out in the end; since you now have a young pro bowler at a position you have difficulty identifying. Ditto that scenario with Adewale and Jason Taylor. Can you imagine what this team would have been like if we had traded away the four or five first round picks over four years Angelo blew, and instead had Jason Taylor and Steve Smith on the Bears?! Even if just one of those deals works out, this team would have accomplished FAR more than it did, and at the end of it all the Bears would have actually SAVED money when you consider the amount of production per dollar spent.

In the end, it's about philosophy. The one thing Angelo has yet to actually try is identifying a young but proven pro bowl talent and doing whatever he must to get that special player. When you do that intelligently at a few key positions, all you need on the rest of the team are role-player types because your opponent is too busy trying to stop those few outstanding players.

someone said something about candy a$$e$ and had a list of them, well ya forgot atleast 1 player, and that would be hester!!! i liked hester as much as anyone else until he got his big money, then he became a pu$$, he could get hit by a finger nail and he would fall down!!!

whoever it was that said we didnt need to spend any money in free agency is full of bologna! how do you figure on being a playoff caliber team? we cant do it threw the draft, the bears hardly ever play players they get from the draft, hell they still havnt played G wolf.

btw, why in the hell would the bears spend any money when they can keep it all to themselves. there are so many idiots out there still spending money to fill the stadium. lol, to see a less than mediocre team. there laughing all the way to the bank!!!

i have an idea, for all of you people that spend money on the games would quit going for a season. i would give my left arm the bears would spend money on players just to get the stadium full again, its that simple!

so we can sit here and argue til we turn blue but the bottom line is that the bears are not gonna get anyone in free agency as usual

so, i really cant blame the bears organization, i blame all the people that buy all the stuff that makes the bears money!!!

Cassel has signed, Will the Bears go after him? Just kidding but it will be interesting to see who trades for him and at what price

There are players that can help us at all positions in Free Agency, it's maybe depth (which we need as well) or as in Housh someone that can help right now but combining the Draft and Free Agency is our ticket out of loosing 2 years after we played in the big game.

Strength of schedule is a load of crap.....

The Bears had a supposed easy schedule last season because they played the lowly Loins twice. It will be worse this season because the Loins will add a combined (32) losses to each of the remaining NFC North teams strength of schedule rating.

You play who you are scheduled to play, period.

In 2008 the Bears played the Colts, Falcons, Vikings twice, the Panthers, Titans, Eagles.... all playoff teams. They played the Packers twice and they went 13-3 the previous year.

Go Bears !!

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