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.