Chicago Sun-Times

Bears do solid job minimizing wasted space under salary cap

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We have covered it here before but it's worth going over again.

One of the reasons the Bears are in such a good position with the salary cap this season (and in prior years) is because they manage to do a pretty good job of limiting their dead cap space. That's cap space that is eaten up by players no longer on the roster. Make a slew of a bad decisions with draft picks, free agents or both and teams can pile up some dead cap space in a hurry. The trade of Kyle Orton to Denver gave the Bears $700,000 in dead cap space for 2009.

According to the most recent figures, the Bears are carrying $6,535,640 in dead cap space. That might sound like a lot but consider that it is just 4.8 percent of the total pie which is more than $135.9 million. That number will go up. The Bears have 80 players under contract right now and as they work toward a final 53-man roster, players will be released that add money to that but as best as we can tell there aren't any players in jeopardy of losing their job that would add a big number to that figure.

Players with the highest dead space on the roster:

Cedric Benson $2,509,000
Terrence Metcalf $1,291,520
Kyle Orton $700,000
John Tait $500,000
Mark Bradley $460,000
Dan Bazuin $382,000
Mike Okwo $308,750

Teams can easily have more than $10 million in dead space when contracts go bad and they miss wildly in free agency.

The above figure of more than $5.8 million does not include an injury settlement wide receiver Alex Bannister received for a brief stint on the roster in the summer of 2006. Bannister filed an injury grievance vs. the Bears and according to records was awarded $112,500. He suffered a groin injury in training camp and never did much. He had been signed as a possible special teams addition.

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11 Comments

brad,

where are the unamortized bonus money for marty booker? he got a signing bonus last year and cut, shouldn't there be a $750,000 dead space for the $1.5 mill Sb he got last year?

and what about players like griese and moose cut before june 1st last year, that allows a 2 year window on taking the cap hit? are you saying bears didn't do this?

thanks!

Looking at that list the term "dead space" can hardly do it justice.

Terrence Metcalf? Can anyone explain that guy to me? Seriously he was the worst guard on the roster and stuck around for 6 seasons which included getting a contract extension and now he's STILL on the payroll (as far as salary cap is concerned). He moved like a zombie at his position and now he's still haunting this team.

... And don't get me started on Cedric "2-yards and a cloud of bust" Benson. Looking forward to that Cincy game. I got a bucksaw that says he develops a mysterious injury the game before and sits out or leaves the game after falling down with defenders nowhere within 5 yards of him ... you know, like old times!

Brad - since Tait retired prior to the end of his contract, couldn't the Bears have gone back and asked him for the unamoritized portion of his signing bonus? Or would that have been considered in poor taste in the player community?

And we all hope the space under the cap is USED, and used WISELY, on a solid WR perhaps. Don't we?

I have to disagree about Booker having earned 2 milliond dollars last season with "earned" being the operative word. The bears may have generously paid Booker 2 million dollars, but he certainly didn't earn it.

So, what this means is that the Bears have plenty of money to get some free agents. Of course it would be idiotic to sign free agents just to sign free agents, but the Bears need receivers, defensive linemen, and a free safety. If any are available who are better than what they have, the Bears should sign them. I don't know about free safety or defensive line, but there are certainly better free agent receivers than what the Bears have, i.e., experienced receivers who've proven they can play well at the NFL level.

Brad,

When do all of those guys who are counting against our cap space come off the books? That would be nice to know if you can research that and put it up here.. Thanks!

METCALF??? R U SERIOUS??? METCALF!?

Christmas on a cracker. Even in FA he still haunts the team. I mean, ok, Benson I can at least understand. First round pick, slated to be the franchise RB etc. etc. But then there's Metcalf: midround pick, did much of nothing for 6 years, career backup, got suspended for illegal substance abuse. Oh, and also picked up a ton of fouls.

But tell me, can you really be upset at Metcalf? Heck, he's living the dream! Millions to do nothing!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on July 2, 2009 10:05 AM.

29 days to Camp: Bears have more than $17 million in cap room was the previous entry in this blog.

28 days to Camp: Reviewing the top 10 issues from a year ago is the next entry in this blog.

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