Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Bears 'up against cap' after Tuesday's spree
By Kevin Seifert
The dust began settling Wednesday for the Chicago Bears following their triumphant dive into free agency. After signing left tackle Jermon Bushrod (five years, $39.5 million) and tight end Martellus Bennett (four years, $20 million), the Bears cut ties with three veterans and watched a fourth begin taking visits elsewhere.
Tight ends Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth, along with defensive tackle Matt Toeaina, will all be set free. Their departures will carve out a modest salary-cap savings, a little over $5 million, but it's still fair to ask how much more the Bears can do this offseason given their financial constraints.
"We are up against the cap," general manager Phil Emery told reporters. "There isn't a lot of wiggle room."
Whether it was genuine or for the consumption of agents, Emery painted a limited picture of the Bears' future action.
Emery: "Are we going to be able to go out and sign in the UFA market a starting guard? No."
As a result, linebacker Nick Roach planned a visit to the Oakland Raiders. Meanwhile, middle linebacker Brian Urlacher's future remains in limbo.
"We've approached him about coming back," Emery said. "As far as working it out, that's an ongoing process."
As with most things, free agency is a give and take. The Bears have taken two of the best players off the market. As a result, they'll have to give in other areas. That's usually how it works.