LINK to the article Some teams face big free-agent calls
AP PhotoThe Raiders, Bears and Jets are among the teams that may be hampered by flat salary-cap numbers. 1. Chicago Bears: Of the Bears' 22 projected starters, 17 have contracts that expire by 2014. Only defensive end Julius Peppers, linebacker Lance Briggs, receiver Brandon Marshall, offensive tackle Gabe Carimi and safety Chris Conte are under contract through the 2015 season.
QB Jay Cutler has two more years on his contract, so the Bears must make every effort to win in 2013 and 2014 or they might have to break up the team. It explains why the Bears can't go overboard in giving a long-term deal to running back Matt Forte. Chicago has about $13 million of cap room in 2013 and more than $50 million of cap room in 2014, so it can handle an important re-signing such as Cutler. But big decisions must be made on defense because linebacker Brian Urlacher, who turned 34 in May, will become a free agent after this season and cornerback Charles Tillman will become a free agent after 2013.