Here is what the Bears’ cap space looks like after signing Yannick Ngakoue

Here is what the Bears’ cap space looks like after signing Yannick Ngakoue originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Cap space was one of the Bears’ biggest assets heading into the offseason.

They went into the offseason with around $100 million, the most cap space of any team in the NFL by a wide margin.

The Bears, however, went on a shopping spree this offseason. They spent big money on Tremaine Edmunds, T.J. Edwards, DJ Moore, Cole Kmet and recently Yannick Ngakoue, who they delivered a one-year contract worth $10.5 million.

Currently, the Bears have just under $28 million in cap space, according to Spotrac’s calculations. Though, that projection does not include the contracts of Ngakoue or Marcedes Lewis. A simple subtraction of Ngakoue’s reported $10.5 million deal (Lewis’ is not yet known) would bring the number precisely to $17,497,692. That number would give them the seventh-most cap room in the NFL.

Remember: the Bears, along with the rest of the NFL, have upwards of 80-90 contracts signed. That will reduce, in some fashion, to 53 contracts on Aug. 29, the NFL’s league-wide cut day.

The Bears are also incurring a significant amount of dead cap this season — around $23 million. That’s the 14th most in the NFL this season. The Bears owe dead cap for the contracts of Robert Quinn ($13 million), Danny Trevathan ($3 million) Mario Edwards Jr. ($2 million) and minimal payouts on six other contracts.

More, the Bears have in-house financials to sort out, too. Jaylon Johnson, Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool are all eligible for extensions. Justin Fields, hopefully, plays well enough this season to earn himself a rookie extension next offseason. Not to mention, the Bears will want to make bigger splashes in free agency down the road.

Another takeaway: the Bears aren’t done building. This offseason represents one step towards the full-scale rebuild they started one summer ago. And while they’ve been productive in bolstering the roster, there is plenty of work left to be done.

They’re in a healthy place now. They spent a lot, yes. But they didn’t overspend. The front office’s patience is undeniable.

Look at Ngakoue’s signing. The edge rusher is a premier position in the NFL. Yet, the Bears didn’t rush to a conclusion. They didn’t draft an edge rusher in the 2023 NFL draft and they didn’t try to trade for some of the league’s biggest names. They kept the process organic.

Ngakoue might not be the end of the road, either. Remember, he signed with the Bears on a one-year contract. If he doesn’t live up to expectations, or the Bears don’t see a fit for him in the future, they owe him nothing past this season.

The Bears aren’t shy of making backup plans. That’s why they have a healthy amount of money in the bank and a war chest of draft assets, too.

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