PHOENIX – The Bears were eager to acquire Raiders' linebacker Khalil Mack, as well as general manager Ryan Pace and football administration director Joey Laine, who have been holding on to one aspect of their imminent project, particularly they were about to separate from the first two. choice of terrain.
"They did a great job negotiating this deal and staying firm – and getting that second round back," said Bears President / CEO Ted Phillips.
The second part, however, was to have Mack sign an extension of $ 161 million over six years until 2024, which guaranteed him $ 60 million upon signing.
"I have great confidence in Ryan and Joey," Phillips said recently. "[It’s] the way they handle the players' contracts and the ceiling and the money. They understand that every year will not be a year Khalil Mack.
"Nobody works this way. The moment was well chosen. They did it well and you saw the results. "
The arrival of Mack has changed the outlook for the Bears. He is a legitimate Super Bowl contender after a 12-4 season last season, but also their finances. Massive offers will do that. The Bears also have an extension to work for quarterback Mitch Trubisky.
The NFL hosting its meetings at Arizona Biltmore this week is a good time to evaluate the Bears books. The first waves of free competition have passed and the project is fast approaching.
More on Mack
The Bears made a splash in the league at the start of the free match when Mack's renegotiated contract was dropped. This has created more than $ 10 million cap for this year.
The team was back in aggression in free will.
Instead, Pace was looking for affordable – and competent – replacements for security, Adrian Amos, and Bryce Callahan (nickel) at Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Buster Skrine.
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The Bears have released this space – which should be used for extensions for their own players – by converting Mack's pay for 2019 into a signing bonus and prorating it for years to come.
According to spotrac.com and OverTheCap.com, Mack's success rate is
$ 11.9 million for this season after being
$ 13.8 million last season. It will increase to $ 26.6 million in 2020.
But an affordable solution remains in Mack's contract. That will happen in 2023. His release that year could potentially release nearly $ 23 million in space while leaving $ 2.6 million of his recently prorated signature bonus in Bears' books.
According to the latest report from the NFLPA, the Bears have $ 17,795,716 in space with 64 players under contract. This is the 16th largest room in the NFL.
Overall, the Bears have been paying close attention to their spending on free agencies this year.
Skrine signed a three-year contract, but he guaranteed $ 8.5 million over the first two years. Cordarrelle Patterson has been awarded a two-year contract, but it's essentially a $ 5 million one-year commitment.
The same is true for offensive midfielder Mike Davis. His two-year contract is essentially a one-year contract valued at $ 3 million.
Pace has repeatedly told the NFL Scouting Combine that the Bears were operating in anticipation of future expansions. These will be the next major financial commitments of the Bears.
This process begins with choosing the fifth-year option for linebacker Leonard Floyd, the Bears' first choice in 2016, and the extension of the Cody Whitehair center's contract, their second choice that year.
The Bears had already signed contracts with left tackle Charles Leno Jr. (August 2017) and defensive lineman Eddie Goldman (September 2018) before competing for their respective rookie contracts in recent years.
With that in mind, safety Eddie Jackson and half-return Tarik Cohen – two caps from the first All-Pro team last season – are in the same boat as Whitehair. They might consider possible extensions after the 2019 season.
Make more movements
The Bears believe they have built a Super Bowl contender for the foreseeable future as a result of good free will decisions and solid selections in the repechage.
But building some of the Bears' biggest contracts also gives the organization considerable flexibility if it wants to.
After the 2019 season, the Bears could release Leno, cornerback Prince Amukamara, right guard Kyle Long and wide receivers Taylor Gabriel and Allen Robinson without significantly impacting their books.
This will probably not happen in its entirety, of course. The Bears have only five choices in this year's draft, starting with 87 in the third round.
The release of all the aforementioned players would result in $ 8.3 million of dead money, according to spotrac.com and OverTheCap.com. But that would also create more than $ 40 million in space if the Bears needed it.
The fact is that the Bears are in win-win mode now, but they have options for spending and reloading in the future. It also reminds us that the closing space is always fluid and that the Bears have always been thinking about the future.