With the recent news that the Chicago Bears will have $98 million in cap space this offseason, some fans were surprised, specifically because the number once stood at $113 million. While the dip in cap space was a little disappointing, it was unavoidable and happened to many other teams in the NFL. The Bears will easily lead the league in cap room this offseason, but for the fans who still crave more free money, there are a few glaring roster cuts the team could make.
Lucas Patrick, Center
Lucas Patrick came to Chicago this offseason as a low-risk, short-term solution for the Bears’ center woes. However, a thumb injury forced the veteran to miss most of training camp, forcing Sam Mustipher into the starting role once again. Patrick did return early in the season but was inconsistent at best before suffering a season-ending foot injury in late October. Terminating the year left on Patrick’s deal would save the Bears nearly $4 million in cap space.
Al Quadin-Muhammad, Defensive End
Al Quadin-Muhammad spent the majority of his career on Matt Eberflus’ Colts defense, including a career 2021 season in which he recorded 48 tackles and six sacks. Muhammad followed Eberflus to Chicago, and fans hoped his familiarity with the Bears’ defensive scheme would lead to similar production. However, Muhammad managed to start only nine games on the league’s worst defensive line and regressed significantly from a statistical standpoint, recording only 29 tackles and one sack. Needless to say, his production did not match fans’
expectations. The Bears can save nearly $4 million by parting ways with Muhammad this offseason.
Cody Whitehair, Guard
The biggest name on this list, Whitehair is one of the longest-tenured players on the Bears’ roster. The seven-year vet has been a mainstay on Chicago’s offensive line since joining the team in 2016. However, he dealt with injuries and inconsistent play this season, playing in only 12 games. Whitehair will turn 31 by the start of next season, and it’s fair to wonder if his best days are behind him. In addition, his $14 million cap hit ranks eighth among guards, and he has rarely ever shown top-tier play at the position. Despite all this, Whitehair is a solid player, and the Bears aren’t exactly in a position to get picky with their offensive line talent. But if they can line up a younger, potentially more talented replacement, they can save almost $6 million in 2023 as well as $14 million in 2024 if they decide to cut the longtime Bear.