As the Chicago Bears enter the offseason, they have a lot of holes but not a lot cap space to fill them.
According to Over The Cap, the Bears have less than $6 million to spend on free agents and draft picks. There is a lot they can do to make more space, and they've been known to be creative in the past.
The biggest cap hit on the team will be quarterback Jay Cutler, who is set to count for more than $22 million against the salary cap. If the Bears were to cut Cutler, they'd save over $15 million for next year, but, obviously, that isn't going to happen.
As Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune wrote, the Bears have an "automatic conversion" clause in Cutler's contract, which means they can move money around to create salary cap space as needed. That could play a big role in how they can spend this offseason.
The best way to get more cap space, however, is to cut players. The Bears have some players who simply haven't performed up to the level that their current contracts will pay them.
In the following slides, you'll see five cuts that the Bears could realistically make that would create more than $16 million in cap space for them to spend this free agency period.
Of those five players, only three are starters, but the other two are considered to be valuable reserves. As I go through the cap hits and savings the Bears would make, I'll also go through the cons of cutting each player and why the Bears may elect to keep them.
Note: All salary cap information courtesy of Over The Cap, unless otherwise indicated.