Eddie Jackson

Here's what the Bears' cap space looks like after cutting Eddie Jackson, Cody Whitehair

The Bears save roughly $21.7 million in cap space after releasing the longtime veterans

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The Bears made a surprising double move on Friday, cutting longtime veterans Cody Whitehair and Eddie Jackson from the team.

The moves to cut the longtime veterans were executed to free up cap space for the offseason, as both Whitehair and Jackson earned huge chunks of money heading into the tail ends of their contracts.

Whitehair's previous contract with the Bears earned him north of $10 million annually; Jackson's contract gave him just over $14 million per season. What does the Bears cap space look like now after cutting both veterans?

According to Spotrac, the Bears saved themselves $21.7 million in cap space with the moves. With the top 51 contracts on the team, the Bears now have just north of $70 million in projected cap space heading into the offseason. Once you account for the money set aside for draft picks, however, the Bears' effective cap space will sit somewhere around $55 million.

Boosting their cap space by over $20 million puts the Bears just over the New England Patriots for the third-most cap space in the NFL (via each team's top 51 contracts), trailing only the Washington Commanders (~$83 million in cap space) and the Tennessee Titans (~$73.9 million in cap space).

Whitehair holds a dead cap value of roughly $4.1 million, about 1.66% of the cap, according to Spotrac. On the other hand, Jackson holds a dead cap value of around $5.5 million, roughly 2.26% of the Bears' total cap room. The two represent the only significant dead cap payments the Bears will carry with them into the 2024 season.

With two top ten picks in the 2024 NFL draft (No. 1 and No. 9) and the third-most cap space in the NFL, the Bears have the assets behind them for another monster offseason. They also have their franchise tag available, which some expect they will use on All-Pro cornerback Jaylon Johnson and pay him roughly $19 million next season.

Jackson was best known in Chicago for his big playmaking abilities in the back of the Bears defense, including several defensive touchdowns. His two pick-sixes in 2018 led the NFL and gave the Bears their characteristic swagger on defense.

The Bears drafted Whitehair in the second round of the 2016 draft, and he was an immediate starter for the team at center. Whitehair started all 16 games as a rookie and was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team at the end of the year.

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