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Chicago Bears 2022 free agency outlook

The Bears head into 2022 free agency coming off an 6-11 season. We break down their free agents, cap space, and more.

Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson II (12) makes a catch in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears had a rough season under head coach Matt Nagy, finishing in third place in the NFC North with a record of 6-11. Nagy did not give the starting job to rookie QB Justin Fields and instead went with veteran Andy Dalton.

However, Dalton would go down with an injury in Week 2, which led to Fields making his first career start next week against the Cleveland Browns. Fields showed signs of growth when he played last season. But Nagy would go back to Dalton and even gave a start to veteran Nick Foles. The Bears will likely usher in Fields as the full-starter next season with Dalton set to be an unrestricted free agent. Chicago fans hope that new head coach Matt Eberflus and Fields can put the team in a better position next season.

Last season’s salary cap number dropped to $182.5 million as the league dealt with the pandemic, but the 2022 cap is expected to rebound back up to $208 million, according to Over The Cap. That increase should loosen a few team pocketbooks this offseason.

Franchise/Transition Tag possibilities

After having a disappointing 2021 season, it’s hard to imagine veteran wide receiver Allen Robinson returning to Chicago. Fields has developed a noticeable connection with second-year Darnell Mooney. The Bears can use their cap space to add a couple more veteran WRs and add to the secondary.

They should be able to re-sign 24-year-old offensive lineman James Daniels, who’s projected calculated market value is a four-year, $29.4 million deal. I think the Bears will not use either tags and instead go find low-tier free agents veterans to fill out key spots on the roster.

Salary cap

Estimated 2022 cap space: ($28.6 million)

Notable unrestricted free agents

Chicago Bears 2022 UFAs

Player Pos. 2021 Team Snaps Age 2022 Team
Player Pos. 2021 Team Snaps Age 2022 Team
James Daniels RG Bears 100.00% 25
Jason Peters LT Bears 76.00% 40
Alec Ogletree LB Bears 65.90% 31
Bilal Nichols IDL Bears 64.10% 26
Tashaun Gipson S Bears 62.40% 32
Damiere Byrd WR Bears 55.30% 29
Allen Robinson WR Bears 55.00% 29
DeAndre Houston-Carson S Bears 39.60% 29
Germain Ifedi RT Bears 36.80% 28
Andy Dalton QB Bears 36.70% 35
Deon Bush S Bears 35.60% 29
Marquise Goodwin WR Bears 35.00% 32
Patrick Scales LS Bears 29.10% 34
Pat O'Donnell P Bears 29.10% 31
Akiem Hicks IDL Bears 28.70% 33
Artie Burns CB Bears 24.00% 27
Jesse James TE Bears 23.60% 28
Jimmy Graham TE Bears 23.40% 36
Bruce Irvin LB Bears 16.40% 35
Christian Jones LB Bears 15.80% 31
Damien Williams RB Bears 14.80% 30
Margus Hunt IDL Bears 14.20% 35
Jakeem Grant WR Bears 13.20% 30
Marqui Christian CB Bears 11.90% 28
Elijah Wilkinson LT Bears 10.70% 27
Cassius Marsh EDGE Bears 9.20% 30
Joel Iyiegbuniwe LB Bears 0.00% 27