Chicago Sun-Times

Slice of the pie: Salary-cap numbers for projected Bears starters

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As we roll toward the opening of free agency this evening there isn't quite the anticipation there was a year ago when the Bears had a handful of players entering the open market. The action started with the team doing what it could to keep wide receiver Bernard Berrian. When that mission failed, the Bears put the squeeze on linebacker Lance Briggs, getting him to return at their price while some key role players (who were missed last season) departed in special teamer Brendon Ayanbadejo and tight end John Gilmore.

There just won't be that kind of drama this weekend, at least not that we see right now peering into our crystal ball. A phone call to Miss Cleo might confirm our hunch. It's important as we move forward to take stock of where the team is right now with the salary cap. We've reviewed the information when it comes to the 2009 salary cap, which was referenced in this story today, and have the cap numbers for projected starters. This provides an idea how the Bears have budgeted and where they're at. It's similar in many ways to how the money was distributed last season.

Brian Urlacher
has the highest cap figure on the team at $10,185,505. In fact, Urlacher combined with Tommie Harris at $9,090,000 come in at $19,275,505, a little less than $3 million shy of the projected offensive starters as a whole. That was one of the questions we wanted to get to with general manager Jerry Angelo last weekend in Indianapolis--would he do the Urlacher $18 million extension over again given the chance? We fell short in that mission and that's a question for another day and a post for another day as well. Here are the numbers:

Salary cap figures for projected 2009 starters


WR Devin Hester $6,885,833
C Olin Kreutz $4,133,333
TE Desmond Clark $2,174,446
LT Chris Williams $1,883,530
WR Rashied Davis $1,581,666
RG Roberto Garza $1,565,000
QB Kyle Orton $1,420,000
FB Jason McKie $995,000
RB Matt Forte $775,613
LG Josh Beekman $565,405
Right tackle ?

Total $21,979,826


MLB Brian Urlacher $10,185,505
DT Tommie Harris $9,090,000
WLB Lance Briggs $6,766,666
DE Adewale Ogunleye $6,465,576
CB Nathan Vasher $4,866,666 or CB Corey Graham $504,655
CB Charles Tillman $4,716,666
DE Alex Brown $2,884,594
DT Anthony Adams $1,087,500
SS Kevin Payne $504,780
FS Craig Steltz $503,756
SLB Nick Roach $460,000

Total with Vasher $47,531,709
Total with Graham $43,169,698

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And the Bears right tackle is....? Yeah, the best move for Chicago would be to sign a free agent tackle. Money should not be an issue, the Bears got an extra 4 million, and on top of it all only have money wraped up in one lone tackle. I agree there isn't much out there, but that doesn't mean there isn't anything out there. To me the best available free agent tackle is the Falcons Tyson Clabo who is a RFA. Since Clabo is a RFA the Bears will have to give something up for him, who cares, I say give up a mid-round draft pick for a young player like Clabo who is only a 4-year vet. Clabo came on this year at right tackle for the Falcons, so he proved he can play in the NFL, unlike a rookie right tackle could if the Bears choose to go that route to fix there right tackle problem. The Bears #1 need right now is right tackle, Clabo is young enough to be more than a stop gap free agent signing, so Clabo could come in and be the Bears right tackle for awhile, and again, he has proved he can be an effective starting right tackle in the NFL by starting for the Falcons, and it might be a better idea to bring in a tackle with some NFL experience to line up opposite 2nd year tackle Chris Williams. Also, signing a tackle like Clabo would open things up for the Bears draft wise, they could go into the draft and concentrate on other needs. All we can do as Bear fans is sit back and see what unfolds on friday GO BEARS!!


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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on February 26, 2009 6:37 AM.

Four Down Territory, Feb. 25: Could Bears rescue displaced Bucs Brooks, Dunn? was the previous entry in this blog.

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