Ready to add insult to injury #Bears fans? Currently, the team has the second fewest players in the #NFL signed for 2021 (35). In addition, what is the team's current salary cap space?

Well...there is none right now. It's $-186,755 per @spotrac. (1/14)
What Ryan Pace has effectively done is backed himself into a corner between overextending players who didn’t deserve it and (not his fault) a pandemic disrupting salary cap growth. It is however a perfect storm that is going to leave numerous options on the table. (2/14)
We start the breakdown with the “LOL You’re Stuck With Them” group:

Robert Quinn: $14.7 m (23.9 dead)
Eddie Jackson: $11.4 m (18.5 dead)
Nick Foles: $6.6 m (14.3 dead)
Danny Trevathan: $5.02 m (13.4 dead)
Tarik Cohen: $3.25 m (6.6 dead)

These 5 make up 22% of the cap. (3/14)
This meanwhile deserves its own tweet:

The #Bears are still paying Trey Burton $1.75 million!!!! in 2021. Anyways, back to the conversation… (4/14)
Where the #Bears go from here could be summed up in one of two options:

A) Keep kicking the can down the road
B) Go nuclear and be cut crazy

Whatever path is chosen, prepare to see a lot more 1-year deals like what we saw last offseason (Mingo, Burns, Ifedi). (5/14)
As for kicking the can, your base salary into signing bonus candidates are:

Khalil Mack: $16.04 mil base
Kyle Fuller: $13 mil base
Cody Whitehair: $6.5 mil base

There is one additional option to look at that ties into a contract extension (6/14)
That one option for a contract extension is Akiem Hicks. He enters the final year of his deal on a $12 million cap hit. He’ll also be 32 in 2022 so this carries a fair amount of risk as well. Now for the nuclear option… (7/14)
Blowing up things that everyone knows wasn’t working ejects these players:

Charles Leno: $6.1 mil saved
Jimmy Graham: $7 mil saved
Bobby Massie: $6.7 mil saved
Buster Skrine: $2.8 mil saved
Anthony Miller: $1.2 mil saved

One other note, cutting Hicks saves $10.5 mil… (8/14)
So let’s say the #Bears at the “bear” (ha. ha.) minimum cut all those candidates. That’s a little over $23 mil to then sign *checks notes* 21 players to get to 51 players. Woof. (9/14)
Now, you say you want the #Bears to re-sign ARob? Well, I have a great waterfront property in Death Valley I’d like to show you. Don’t forget Patterson, RRH, O’Donnell, Mingo, McManis, Gipson, Urban, Houston-Carson and Santos are all FAs. (10/14)
If I had to guess, Mingo, Houston-Carson and Santos are brought back. As for the others…great question. So how to the #Bears navigate free agency? Well, they don’t really. They wait for the table scraps like Remy from Ratatouille similar to what they did last offseason. (11/14)
I don’t expect Mitch back but I do expect another veteran QB acquisition. Who? Something tells me Andy Dalton gets reunited with his old OC. If the #Bears believe they can “run it back” with Foles, they’re insane. You can almost book a top 5 pick with their 2021 schedule. (12/14)
Draft picks can fix things you say? The fact this regime is getting another potential shot at drafting at QB makes me sick. They need to rebuild the O-Line and WR room. By the way, their picks? There’s 6. (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6 or 7 [Shaheen trade]) That’s 5. Again, woof. (13/14)
Pace’s lack of valuing draft picks to rebuild the roster, while also getting bailed out by late round picks annually, is getting old. This may finally be the year he faces a battle he can’t conquer to keep the team competitive. Start the countdown: Black Monday 2022. (14/14)
Small correction to this. The #Bears have 8 draft picks: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, three 6ths (two compensatory picks via Nick Williams and Chase Daniel via FA) and a 7th that could become a 6th via the Shaheen trade.
One last note here. The number ultimately varies on where the cap lands. Some numbers did change with the futures contracts from when I wrote this out. If the cap climbs into the 190-195 range, this whole situation is mostly avoided. The Bears have $191 mil tied up right now.
If it does fall at $195, there's a 7.5 mil carryover, so there will be some room to make moves prior to contract restructures and cuts. This is ultimately a worst case scenario.

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