Bears Rumors: Khalil Mack, Eddie Jackson, More Convert Contracts; Save CHI $23M

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 13, 2021

Chicago Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack (52) lines up for a play in the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Chicago Bears in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. The Saints now 21-9. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

The Chicago Bears will save over $23 million in salary cap space after converting the 2021 base salaries of edge-rusher Khalil Mack, center Cody Whitehair and safety Eddie Jackson into signing bonuses Saturday, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs followed the Schefter report up with these remarks:

Brad Biggs @BradBiggs

Would imagine the #Bears will be making multiple other moves in the days and weeks to come in an effort to create cap space.

Prior to the moves being announced, the Bears were listed as being $19,276,053 over the 2021 salary cap of $182.5 million, per Over the Cap.

The 30-year-old Mack finished his third season with Chicago having amassed 50 tackles and nine sacks in his sixth straight Pro Bowl campaign. The No. 5 overall pick of the 2014 NFL draft played his first four years with the Oakland Raiders before the Silver and Black traded him to Chicago prior to the 2018 season.

Jackson, a two-time Pro Bowler who has played all four of his seasons with the Bears, had a career-high 82 tackles in 2020. He also had three forced fumbles.

Whitehair has played all five of his seasons in Chicago, starting 78 of a possible 80 regular-season games at center. He made the Pro Bowl for his efforts during the 2018 season.

The Bears made the restructures in advance of the new league year, which officially begins Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET. Teams can begin to officially sign unrestricted free agents at that point, although negotiations between UFAs and teams can start Monday.

In the meantime, the Bears have made some moves regarding other players on their roster last year, notably placing the franchise tag on No. 1 wide receiver Allen Robinson.

They also signed kicker Cairo Santos to a three-year extension and punter Pat O'Donnell to a one-year extension this week.