2014 offseason thread

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by riczaj01, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    21,636
    Likes Received:
    2,531
    Ratings:
    +2,989 / 8 / -8
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,006ß
    Okay so we learned a few things:

    Jay Cutler is our qb.
    Mel Tucker is our DC


    The D was historically bad and HAS to be rebuilt on approx 22 mil cap and 6...well really probably 3 draft picks, expecting 4-6th rounders to contribute day 1 is asking to much. The cap had be helped by using Cutlers contract to add money to the cap, BUT then his guaranteed money gets extended past 3 years; and wasn't that the one good thing about this contract; only three years?

    The team can still make moves to add some money, cutting/restructuring Peppers, but i see it as a cut, cutting Bush and Weems, Earl and a few other players.
  2. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    21,636
    Likes Received:
    2,531
    Ratings:
    +2,989 / 8 / -8
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,006ß
    Here's a list of Bears that are FA's, the FA status, and/or guys that have been signed to future contracts:

    Player Position Contract Terms
    James Anderson Linebacker 2014: Free Agent
    Joseph Anderson Wide Receiver 2014: Exclusive Rights Free Agent
    Taylor Boggs Center 2014: Exclusive Rights Free Agent
    Eben Britton Tackle 2014: Free Agent
    Willie Carter Running Back 1/1/2014: Signed a reserve/future contract.
    Blake Costanzo Linebacker 2014: Free Agent
    Rogers Gaines Tackle 12/30/2013: Signed a reserve/future contract.
    Roberto Garza Guard 2014: Free Agent
    Kelvin Hayden Defensive Back 2014: Free Agent
    Derrick Martin Defensive Back 2014: Free Agent
    Josh McCown Quarterback 2014: Free Agent
    Sherrick McManis Defensive Back 2014: Free Agent
    Henry Melton Defensive Lineman 2014: Free Agent
    Zach Miller Tight End 12/30/2013: Signed a reserve/future contract.
    Cheta Ozougwu Defensive Lineman 2014: Exclusive Rights Free Agent
    Jordan Palmer Quarterback 2014: Free Agent
    Jay Ratliff Defensive Lineman 2014: Free Agent
    Tracy Robertson Defensive Lineman 12/30/2013: Signed a reserve/future contract.
    Dante Rosario Tight End 2014: Free Agent
    Jonathan Scott Tackle 2014: Free Agent
    Craig Steltz Defensive Back 2014: Free Agent
    Charles Tillman Defensive Back 2014: Free Agent
    Terrence Toliver Wide Receiver 12/30/2013: Signed a reserve/future contract.
    Anthony Walters Defensive Back 2014: Restricted Free Agent
    Tress Way Punter 1/1/2014: Signed a reserve/future contract.
    D.J. Williams Linebacker 2014: Free Agent
    Lawrence Wilson Linebacker 12/30/2013: Signed a reserve/future contract.
    C.J. Wilson Defensive Back 12/30/2013: Signed a reserve/future contract.
    Corey Wootton Defensive Lineman 2014: Free Agent
    Major Wright Defensive Back 2014: Free Agent
  3. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    21,636
    Likes Received:
    2,531
    Ratings:
    +2,989 / 8 / -8
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,006ß
    Here are the guy's I think will be brought back:



    Taylor Boggs Center 2014: Exclusive Rights Free Agent
    Eben Britton Tackle 2014: Free Agent

    Willie Carter Running Back 1/1/2014: Signed a reserve/future contract.
    Rogers Gaines Tackle 12/30/2013: Signed a reserve/future contract.
    Josh McCown Quarterback 2014: Free Agent
    Jay Ratliff Defensive Lineman 2014: Free Agent

    Tracy Robertson Defensive Lineman 12/30/2013: Signed a reserve/future contract.
    Terrence Toliver Wide Receiver 12/30/2013: Signed a reserve/future contract.
    Tress Way Punter 1/1/2014: Signed a reserve/future contract.
    D.J. Williams Linebacker 2014: Free Agent
    Lawrence Wilson Linebacker 12/30/2013: Signed a reserve/future contract.
    C.J. Wilson Defensive Back 12/30/2013: Signed a reserve/future contract.
    Corey Wootton Defensive Lineman 2014: Free Agent

    I have no real opinion on the signed a reserve guys, but there has to be a reason they were signed, if nothing else as camp fodder. I liked Joe Anderson, but his injury I think ended his shot w/the Bears. I hope he finds another team and sticks though, he's a good loyal kid and deserves a shot. He could have went to another team last year and made their roster, but instead stuck it out w/the Bears on their PS waiting for his chance. Boggs and Britton have to be brought back, someone HAS to be C, and I cannot see them bringing back Garza for another 1-2 years. I really hope they don't bring back McCown, w/the Cutler contract the Bears have way to much money invested in the position this year, and the funds need to go to the D, but I think they will resign him regardless and he deserves another 1-2 year deal, and if he doesn't take a deal elsewhere(remember the Bears cannot sign him until FA hits) he'll return here.

    Anderson, as much as I liked him this year, and he deserves to be brought back cannot be, if Shea is moving to the outside, and Bostic is not a MLB, then you have to many OLB's when you also add in Greene. DJ on the other hand HAS to be brought back, he played really well and will be the only MLB on the roster. Wootton also has to be brought back, he's versatile(can play in and outside the DL) and if they don't resign him the only DL's on the roster are Peppers, Paea, Bass, and Corny....and Peppers will likely be cut, and Corny got beat out by a udfa PS guy doesn't speak highly of him does it?
  4. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    21,636
    Likes Received:
    2,531
    Ratings:
    +2,989 / 8 / -8
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,006ß
    David Bass Defensive Lineman
    Earl Bennett Wide Receiver
    Martellus Bennett Tight End
    Jon Bostic Linebacker
    Lance Briggs Linebacker
    James Brown Tackle
    Michael Bush Running Back
    Jermon Bushrod Tackle
    Chris Conte Defensive Back
    Jay Cutler Quarterback
    Tony Fiammetta Running Back
    Michael Ford Running Back
    Matt Forte Running Back
    Jerry Franklin Linebacker
    Isaiah Frey Defensive Back
    Robbie Gould Place Kicker
    Khaseem Greene Linebacker
    Alshon Jeffery Wide Receiver
    Tim Jennings Defensive Back
    Joe Long Tackle
    Kyle Long Guard
    Brandon Marshall Wide Receiver
    Shea McClellin Defensive Lineman
    Jordan Mills Tackle
    Stephen Paea Defensive Lineman
    Julius Peppers Defensive Lineman
    Adam Podlesh Punter
    Matt Slauson Guard
    Cornelius Washington Defensive Lineman
    Eric Weems Wide Receiver
    Chris Williams Wide Receiver
    Marquess Wilson Wide Receiver

    Here is the Bears current roster, minus reserve contracts, it's 32 guys on the roster, to have practices they'll need 90(only the top 50 some odd contracts count toward the cap I believe, I could be wrong on that #).
    Here's would I'd cut: Peppers, Weems, E Bennett, Bush

    That leaves 28 players on the active roster, + 6 draft picks=34 players. That means to get an active roster the team needs to sign 18 players in FA, and unless all 6 guys in the draft make the active day roster(not likely) it's more like 22 in FA, and they'll have a little over 30 mil in cap to sign them. That's not going to be an easy task.
  5. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    4,197
    Likes Received:
    1,006
    Ratings:
    +1,220 / 2 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    258ß
    Glad the board I'd up and running again.

    Ric, your breakdown is pretty darn close to how I would have written it, including the "must signs" and "will signs". People are getting a little panicked about the current cap space number (~$11.5m) in light of all the players needed to get under contract. There's really no need to be. The Bears actually have way more cap room than otherwise meets the eye.

    There is virtually zero chance Peppers will not be cut. After June 1 (by designation), that adds some $13m to the cap right there alone.
    There are other players (Earl, Bush, Weems) who may be on the chopping block too. Several million more in savings there. Biggs wrote a good article detailing this recently.
    In addition, all the recent contracts the Bears signed (Cutler being the biggest of course) include optional conversion clauses whereby the team can at will convert some or all salary into signing bonus and free up short term cap space. For instance, if the Bears converted 15 of Jay's 2014 $22m salary into signing bonus, that adds back $12m more to the cap (I believe it's amortized over a max of 5 years in this case). Yes, the downside of this is that is puts some dead cap on the books if he's cut after 3 years but that's hardly unique for a big money contract. And the team doesn't have to exercise this option until it needs/wants to or not at all.

    I expect Emery to go after 1-2 "splash" acquisitions in FA and a bunch of minor role player ones.
  6. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    21,636
    Likes Received:
    2,531
    Ratings:
    +2,989 / 8 / -8
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,006ß
    MP, only problem w/converting Cutler is it's add to the years he has guaranteed money, it's not like an ATM(as many have said) it's more like a payday loan place.
  7. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    4,197
    Likes Received:
    1,006
    Ratings:
    +1,220 / 2 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    258ß
    No, it doesn't change Cutler's guaranteed money one single penny.
    Converting annual salary (already guaranteed to him anyway) into signing bonus only changes the way it is accounted for salary cap purposes, nothing more.
    It doesn't obligate the Bears to pay him beyond his current 3 year guarantee at all. It only creates a potential dead cap cost if he were cut/released afterwards (year 4-5). There's no "additional dollars" there. It's only an accounting convention.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    21,636
    Likes Received:
    2,531
    Ratings:
    +2,989 / 8 / -8
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,006ß
    MP that's how it was originally reported, but now it's coming out that it does add guaranteed money to the next year or so's money. If that is wrong, then fine, but that's not what is being said now
  9. a_miljan

    a_miljan Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2013
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    254
    Ratings:
    +291 / 0 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    96ß
    yes of course it does, guaranteed money is - guaranteed, but it allows us cap space at any given time
  10. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    4,197
    Likes Received:
    1,006
    Ratings:
    +1,220 / 2 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    258ß
    Do you have a link/source for this? I'd like to read it because I haven't heard that and would like to earn how it works if true.
  11. a_miljan

    a_miljan Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2013
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    254
    Ratings:
    +291 / 0 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    96ß
  12. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    4,197
    Likes Received:
    1,006
    Ratings:
    +1,220 / 2 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    258ß
    From my understanding, converting (already guaranteed) annual salary money into signing bonus changes nothing except for the cap accounting. It doesn't change the total number of guaranteed dollars and it doesn't change the duration in years those dollars are physically paid out.
  13. a_miljan

    a_miljan Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2013
    Messages:
    644
    Likes Received:
    254
    Ratings:
    +291 / 0 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    96ß
    at the very end of this bleacher article u will find different opinion or should i say understanding
  14. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    4,197
    Likes Received:
    1,006
    Ratings:
    +1,220 / 2 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    258ß
    I just read the article, thanks, but I didn't see anything there that changes my position. Yes, I saw the one line late in the article you mentioned. The author (this is the BR here after all) seems to be confusing dead cap accounting costs with actual number of dollars guaranteed to be paid. The former would extend beyond three years if/when there's a signing bonus conversion, the latter would not change. The BR author cited nothing specific in making his (false or at least poorly worded) statement IMHO.

    No one has yet demonstrated or proved to me how converting already-guaranteed salary money into signing bonus(es) would somehow extend the length of time guaranteed money is paid or somehow change the total amount.
  15. mdbearz

    mdbearz Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    613
    Likes Received:
    262
    Ratings:
    +283 / 0 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    24ß
    I think the confusion is exactly like you stated, it only effects the cap situation.

    I think most people look at it like this, if you convert the Salary to Bonus then after 3 years it hurts the team if you decide to cut Cutler.

    However, if you do not convert it Cutler can be cut after 3 years without a single penny being wasted (cap or real).
  16. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    Messages:
    12,103
    Likes Received:
    744
    Ratings:
    +846 / 1 / -2
    ßearz ßuckz:
    767ß
    People (myself included) can want Peanut back all day long, but unless he takes a large hometown discount, he's going to chew up too much cap space. We have a lot of rebuilding to do on the defense, and it's best to cut our losses now and try to bring in a younger guy who can be just as servicable for the next few years. Time to cut Peppers, Hester (unless he takes kick returner money), let Tillman go, and Melton, unless he takes the same hometown discount. I don't want to risk money on a potential second Tommie Harris. He had the exact same injury and never came back to form. Can't risk big money on that. I like the re-signs they have done already, and Wooten would be a good servicable re-sign, as would Williams.
  17. mdbearz

    mdbearz Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    613
    Likes Received:
    262
    Ratings:
    +283 / 0 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    24ß
    Even though Anderson is 30 it could be argued that he was the best player we had on Defense. They need some LBs till they can find a replacement or until Bostic develops.
  18. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    Messages:
    12,103
    Likes Received:
    744
    Ratings:
    +846 / 1 / -2
    ßearz ßuckz:
    767ß
    And yet the Bears lost the final game of the season because Anderson did the dumbest thing a NFL player could do.
  19. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    4,197
    Likes Received:
    1,006
    Ratings:
    +1,220 / 2 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    258ß
    Yes, it seemed pretty clear to me that the BR author didn't know squat about his subject matter. He even got the amortization period wrong (it's 5 years max, not 7). It's amazing how a "sports reporter" could be so ill-informed before writing a column.

    Most big contracts (Peppers for example) end up having some dead cap cost associated with them at the end when the player is finally released. Ideally you'd like to keep that minimal but its the price you pay to lessen up-front cap costs which otherwise might be huge. Every team does it.

    I forgot to mention earlier that Podlesh's job hangs by a thread and replacing him (which shouldn't be that hard) adds another million or so to cap space and the option of extending Marshall could free up millions more. It's not like Marshall isn't going to be re-signed anyway (unless he has a major injury) so this is a very realistic option. So, there are ways for the Bears to add needed cap dollars for 2014 if they want too and the sky isn't falling FA-wise.

Share This Page