Championship windows open and close all the time in the National Football league. Every year, new teams get ready to contend for the Lombardi trophy. With the new season on the horizon, one team with a chance to capture their Super Bowl dreams are the Chicago Bears, and the time to win is now.
The Bears had a magical season last year. They went 12-4 under first-year head coach Matt Nagy. They boasted one of the best defenses in the entire NFL. On the offensive side of the ball, former second overall pick, Mitchell Trubisky, took a big step forward by having a 95.4 quarterback rating. For a franchise that has not won a Super Bowl since 1985, their time to win is imminent.
The Bears have an impressive group of players to build sustained success around. Players like Khalil Mack, Eddie Jackson, Tarik Cohen, Allen Robinson, Akiem Hicks and many more talented pieces are scattered around both sides of the ball. However, the clock is already ticking for these players to win a championship together. In the near future, General Manager Ryan Pace is going to have some tough decisions to make in regards to roster construction due to the salary cap.
Right now, the Bears have capitalized on surrounding their young QB with talented players, without having to pay Trubisky the absurd amount of money that franchise quarterbacks are being paid these days. The NFL salary cap is set just over $196 million. The three players that eat up the most cap space for Chicago are Mack, Robinson and Kyle Fuller, all of whom are locked up for at least three more seasons.
While most of the Bears’ core pieces are locked up for at least two more seasons, there are a couple of big players for this franchise that could be heading elsewhere due to the salary cap. Players like Danny Trevethan and Leonard Floyd will be up for big deals after the upcoming season. While these two may be critical to winning a Super Bowl, the Bears may have to prioritize locking up other players more necessary to the franchise.
Trubisky, Jackson and Cohen are all eligible to start negotiating contract extensions after next season. All three players went to the Pro Bowl last season and will be expecting some lucrative deals. If the Bears hope to retain all three, not only will they have to let Trevethan and Floyd walk, they may also need to cut Kyle Long due to all the money he is making on his deal. While Long is a veteran leader in the locker room and loved by fans, his contract is one worth watching. He is set to make just under $10 million for the 2020-2021 season. That is a lot of money for a player who is over the age of 30 and has dealt with injury problems throughout his whole career.
The salary cap leaves a big burden on contending teams and makes sustained success a hard thing to achieve. However, it has been done before; just look over to the New England Patriots. While the hype for the Bears being Super Bowl contenders is real, I do not think people realize how big of a season they have ahead of them.
Many Bears fans believe that they are in a position to win multiple Super Bowls. This is far from true, due to the fact they are going to lose key components of their team with the years to come because of the salary cap rule. However, the time to win is now because all of the pieces are in place. You don’t have to worry about dishing out all the money in the bank just yet. While many people are saying, “Oh, the Bears have the chance to be a dynasty,” let’s pump the breaks on that talk right now because that all leans on GM Pace’s decision-making on where he wants to spend his money.
The Bears have one of the most complete rosters in the NFL, and their one weak link is the kicking position. It is Super Bowl or bust this season for the Chicago Bears because who knows if they will have as talented of a roster down the line. Get me to Sept. 5, and let’s get ready to do the Super Bowl Shuffle in February. Bear Down!