When Ryan Poles took over as the new Bears general manager, unsurprisingly there was a good deal of change in the front office. Poles added fresh faces to the organization, and even created some new positions, like the new assistant GM role and the Clyde Emrich director of high performance. But some of the changes have included putting a familiar face back into a familiar role. According to multiple reports, Cliff Stein is back in charge of the team’s salary cap, and is also working as the Bears’ chief contract negotiator.
Stein’s official title with the Bears is senior vice president and general counsel, and he’s worked for the Bears since 2002. That included working as the team’s salary cap guru / chief negotiator for a time, before Ryan Pace took over in 2015. When Pace became the team’s GM, he brought in Joey Laine to handle that responsibility as the Bears' director of football administration. But Poles replaced Laine with Matt Feinstein as the new director of football administration in February.
Feinstein comes from an analytics and management background, so it’s natural that he didn’t take on all the same responsibilities that Laine undertook in the same position. That opened the door for Stein to resume his duties managing the Bears' salary cap and contract negotiations.
Since the start of free agency, the Bears have signed nine new players: Khari Blasingame, Dakota Dozier, Justin Jones, Nick Morrow, Al-Quadin Muhammad, Lucas Patrick, Byron Pringle, Trevor Siemian and Equanimeous St. Brown. In addition, they’ve re-signed two playersー DeAndre Houston-Carson and Patrick Scalesー and tendered contracts to three more restricted free agentsー Jesper Horsted, Sam Mustipher and Lachavious Simmons. The Bears have also released three playersー Danny Trevathan, Tarik Cohen and Eddie Goldmanー and traded away Khalil Mack. According to Spotrac, the Bears currently have $10.8 million in salary cap space.