Bears

Kyle Long’s contract restructure leaves Bears with big decision next offseason

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USA TODAY

Kyle Long’s contract restructure leaves Bears with big decision next offseason

The Bears cleared up some additional salary cap space this offseason by agreeing to a restructured contract for guard Kyle Long, who tweeted at the time he’s a “Bear for Life.”

The details of that contract restructuring emerged Wednesday, and it doesn’t bode well for his long-term future in Chicago.

Long’s contract is fully guaranteed for 2019, regardless of what happens from an injury standpoint. Then next offseason, Ryan Pace will have to decide whether or not to accept the 2020 option on his contract.

He would be set to cost $9.6 million against the salary cap that season, which the Bears can nullify by declining the option before the start of the 2020 league year.

That would make Long the 11th highest-paid guard in the NFL that season in terms of cap hit, right after he turns 31 years old.

If he can return to form with a strong 2019 season, he might have a chance of coming back for that 2020 option year.

But if he continues on the trajectory he’s currently on, Long might not be a Bear for life — at least not at this salary.

 

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Bears still have league-average amount of salary cap space left

Bears still have league-average amount of salary cap space left

Free agency has slowed to crawl a little more than a week into the process, and the Bears still have some money to spend.

Ryan Pace made multiple moves to clear up additional salary cap space this offseason, but he spent his money cautiously.

Even with five outside signings under contract, he still has the space to make some more moves.

As of Friday, the Bears have just under $17 million in cap space, the 16th-most in the NFL, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

Pace has more money to work with now than he did before the team started releasing players to clear space.

He still has to keep some cap available to sign their draft picks as well as an emergency fund for the season, but the Bears have more than enough money left to add an impact player or two on the open market.

The pool of talent to pick from continues to shrink, but Pace can still find quality options that could come at a bargain the longer they sit on the open market.

 

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Chicago Football Madness Rd. of 32: Chalk dominates the 1st round, with some notable exceptions

Chicago Football Madness Rd. of 32: Chalk dominates the 1st round, with some notable exceptions

Excitement for the Bears are at an all-time high, so while March Madness and the NCAA Tournament begin, we still have Bears on the mind. So we've created Chicago Bears Football Madness, pitting players from the three best Bears teams and legends head-to-head.

THIS. IS. STILL. MARCH. 

The first round of our inaugural Chicago Football Madness Tournament is over, and friends, it was kind of anti-climatic -- except for Jay Cutler advancing, that rules. 

Out of all the 32 Opening Round matchups, only two underdogs moved on: Robbie Gould and The Fridge. Now, Gould's got a tough matchup against 2-seed Lance Briggs, and there's no rest for the Perry (this joke works, right?) as he takes on Walter Payton. 

Keep sending the votes in! You can find all the matchups over on our Twitter account, or on the website, because we like to give you options. 

RD. OF 32 REGIONS:

1985 Bracket

2006 Bracket

2018 Bracket

Legends/Others Bracket

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.