I stand corrected. Just when I thought the Chicago Bears would not be able to make major moves in Free Agency due to their salary cap situation, the Bears struck gold early by signing left tackle Jermon Bushrod and tight end Martellus Bennett.
It was announced at the outset yesterday that Bennett would be coming to the Bears, but exact terms of the four-year deal have not been released. Today Adam Shefter per Profootballtalk reports the contract is worth $20 million.
Bushrod’s deal is five years for just under $36 million. I know it sounds comical to say that paying a human $36 million to play a game is a bargain. But the player made the NFC Pro Bowl squad the previous two seasons in New Orleans. To the best of my knowledge, the Bears have not sent a left tackle to the Pro Bowl since Jim Covert three decades ago. And we know that for most of the last 15 years, the Bears’ situation hasn’t even been stable, let alone productive.
I am very interested to see how the Bears officially find the cap room for these contracts, given they were just over $3 million under the limit. And they still need to sign guard Lance Louis, find a player at the left guard position, and at least find an outside linebacker on defense. Not to mention determining if Brian Urlacher is staying or going. So far, it has been reported that the Bears have not responded to his contract offer.
The important thing for now is that Chicago has filled two glaring needs on offense.