The Chicago Bears announced Monday that they had preformed some fancy accounting work and re-structured Jay Cutler‘s recently signed contract to create $4 million in extra cap space this year. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Bears will convert $5 million of Cutler’s base salary into a signing bonus and prorate that bonus over five years. By doing this they reduce Cutler’s salary cap hit this season to $18.5 million and free up an extra $4 million to use elsewhere.
Now the benefits of this are obvious for Cutler with more free money spread out over the next few years. It is still unclear what the Bears intend to do with the extra space they created, but there are two possible scenarios that can play out for the extra money. The team could be targeting another starter via free agency which would require more than the cap space that they previously had, or the team may be freeing up some space for ease of signing their rookies after the upcoming NFL Draft in May. Bears fans should be hoping for the former on this one.
Could a possible Jared Allen offer be in the works? Initial reports had Allen signing with the Seattle Seahawks, though Allen left Seattle without a contract and has stated that he was still considering offers. The Bears can offer Allen more playing time than Seattle could, and the prospect of staying in the NFC North could be beneficial to Allen as he is familiar with the other teams’ offenses.
Allen made it known that he would rather retire than accept a deal that wasn’t in his ballpark. Until this move by the Bears, the team did not have enough space to offer Allen the type of money he was hoping for. Bears fans have their fingers crossed for Allen, though any addition to this defense couldn’t hurt.