Bears Better Hope These 6 Players Don't Get the Franchise Tag

The Chicago Bears have plenty of salary cap space to pursue free agents in the offseason. Hopefully, these six players do not get the franchise tag.
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
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The Chicago Bears enter free agency with plenty of money to spend. The Bears are projected to have just a shade under $47 million in salary cap space. It is the seventh most cap space.

Chicago can gain another projected $21 million in cap space if they cut Eddie Jackson and Cody Whitehair.

Taking USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the No. 1 overall pick also provides the franchise another four years of a cheap rookie contract not clogging up the salary cap.

General manager Ryan Poles can use this cap space to address needs the team has to take the Bears from 7-11 last season to the playoffs

The Bears need to add a second wide receiver to pair up with D.J. Moore. They could even use a third receiver since Tyler Scott is the only other receiver currently under contract.

The team also needs a center and could always use competition for Braxton Jones at left tackle. Guard Nate Davis had a poor season and the line’s other guard, Teven Jenkins, will be in the final year of his rookie deal. He also has issues staying healthy.

An edge rusher opposite Montez Sweat is needed. An upgrade at the three-technique defensive tackle would also boost a defense that improved immensely in 2023.

A free safety to replace Eddie Jackson is also going to be needed if he is cut and another tight end behind Cole Kmet would help as well.

Cornerback, linebacker, and running back are the only positions that do not need to be addressed this offseason.

This is a good free-agent class at wide receiver, center, and pass rusher. Although, it could become thinner once teams start to make franchise tag decisions.

The Chicago Bears need to hope these players do not get the franchise tag...

Brian Burns

Burns was one of the players Poles wanted back from the Carolina Panthers in last year's deal that sent Carolina the No. 1 pick. He ended up with D.J. Moore and if the Panthers chose to not place the franchise tag on him, Poles will have a chance to sign him on the open market.

He is projected to earn a contract of five years with somewhere between $80 and $100 million guaranteed. Burns' 46 career sacks is the reason he is in for big payday.

The chances of him not getting tagged are slim, but hey, this is a hope exercise. Maybe the Panthers do not want to have a $30 million edge rusher on their books.