The Chicago Bears need to make adjustments to their salary cap to clear up some room if they want to add new players in free agency. In order to make these signings the Bears need to find a way to add more to the roughly $4-million they are currently under the cap, plus leave room for rookies and their own free agents.
The Bears have a way to add an additional $7.8-million to that $4-million if they cut players who are under performing or it may be best to send packing. If the Bears cut Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, Kellen Davis, Adam Podelesh their base salaries would equal $7.8-million in savings. Base salaries are not guaranteed so the Bears would not owe them that money and that would alleviate some of the pain associated with the cap crunch.
If the Bears sign three players to additional contract extensions say a two year extension for Tillman and give Tim Jennings and Brandon Marshall another year onto their contracts and make it to where all three have contracts that expire after the 2015 season the Bears could create upwards of $15-million in additional cap savings in addition to t he $7.8-million in savings that cutting those four players would equal.
The question is what players should the Bears keep and what players should they cut in order to add the additional money to the 2013 salary cap. Of the four players mentioned as possibly getting the axe, Kellen Davis' salary is the highest at $2.4-million cutting him would instantly save that money. Cutting Hester would save $1.85-million against the cap and Earl Bennett would save $2.25-million against the 2013 salary cap. Is Bennett worth parting ways with to save $2.25-million or is Hester more of a bargain at $1.85-million and thus he should be kept?
The important thing to consider is the Bears can go over the salary cap and then make adjustments after they have signed the players they want to sign. Keep in mind however the 11 players the Bears likely want to sign that were on the 2012 roster. Those players don't currently count against the 2013 salary cap. So the Bears have to create the additional cap space beyond $4-million to sign their own and pursue players in free agency.