It has been a slow offseason for the Bears with plenty of losses and misses, but new general manager Ryan Poles isn’t panicking. According to Courtney Cronin of ESPN, Poles is preaching patience to the franchise. Patience is something of which Chicago-fans have likely run plum out, but, with the current state of the Bears’ roster, it’s a wise path to take.
We’ve seen other rebuilding franchises take wild stabs through trades and free agency, making expensive, headline-grabbing moves that leave them little room to work with when addressing other roster holes. The Rams won a Super Bowl making flashy moves, but did so when those moves were the difference between winning or losing a Super Bowl. Teams like the Bears and Jaguars currently have too many holes on their roster for one offseason-worth of moves to elevate them to a Super Bowl-level.
Poles won’t let moving star pass-rusher Khalil Mack or losing defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi to a failed physical or watching the Bills match the offer sheet on guard Ryan Bates force him into desperately grasping at whatever other players are available. He’ll continue to stick to his plan and his assessments. He’ll wait for an appropriate time, like the Draft or the post-June 1 period, to utilize the team’s accumulated cap space. Poles may just have the patience and demeanor to lead Chicago out of the NFC North basement.
Here are a few other notes from around the NFC, starting in the city of brotherly love:
- The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia enlisted the help of salary cap and contract expert Jason Fitzgerald, who operates OverTheCap.com, to help her analyze confusing offseason moves from each franchise. When they got to the Eagles, Fitzgerald had some interesting things to say. Fitzgerald asserted that Philadelphia is doing something no other NFL team is. The Eagles have been employing void years in contracts to push salary cap charges to future years. Essentially, if a player holds a $10MM cap charge, the team will eventually pay the $10MM cap charge. By using the void years, the team can take part of that $10MM and move it to later years. Say they take $5MM of that cap hit and move it to the following year. They’ll still be applying that $5MM to their cap space, but, after the league raises the salary cap (as they do every year), that $5MM will represent a smaller percentage of the total cap space in the following year than it would in the current year. The Eagles’ manipulation of the constantly inflating salary cap is nothing short of genius and soon other teams will likely catch on and follow their lead.
- Earlier this month, Mike Sando of The Athletic went over some of the moves each franchise made this offseason. His take on the 49ers was centered on their handling of the future of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo’s shoulder rehabilitation, combined with a 2022 base salary of $24.6MM, made it hard for San Francisco to move the former starting quarterback. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Garoppolo and the 49ers mutually agreed to have him rehabilitate his shoulder off-site, away from the team, so, at this point, second-year quarterback Trey Lance has effectively taken over as the team’s first-string passer. Sando asserts that the best solution would be a compromise wherein Garoppolo would stay for the time-being on a guaranteed deal with some “dummy years” added onto it, either until San Francisco knows for a fact that they can move forward with Lance or until they know they can get a better value out of moving Garoppolo than they’re getting right now. This would provide the opportunity for the 49ers to reinsert Garoppolo back into the starting job they know he can handle if it turns out that Lance can’t.