People have wondered why GM Ryan Pace hasn’t been more aggressive in free agency to this point. He still has a decent amount of money. Somewhere between $15-17 million in cap space. That’s more than enough to make a push for one of the better veterans still available. Yet nothing. So what gives? It’s quite likely that Pace is treading carefully because he doesn’t want to ruin the Chicago Bears compensatory pick situation.
Keep in mind this team hasn’t acquired a compensatory pick since 2009. Pace has yet to have one in his tenure with the Bears dating back to 2015. Being a man who’s said time and again that he wants to build through the draft, this must’ve been a goal he’s worked towards. At last, he has gotten this team to a point where they can start losing players good enough to afford them such picks.
The question many have is if they do get any in 2020, what could they be? OverTheCap.com has a useful chart to help explain. According to it, the losses of Adrian Amos and Bryce Callahan could potentially land the Bears 4th and 5th round picks next year. Further looks at it show how savvy Pace has been with all of his signings to this point, none of them going high enough in money per year to cancel either loss out.
Chicago Bears compensatory pick pursuit explains their quiet free agency
This pretty much paints a clear picture. It’s likely the Bears are not going to sign any free agents who would cost $7 million a year or more. That would cancel out one of those picks. Instead it appears Pace is content to fill out his roster with potential veteran bargains and then reap the rewards next April.
If they were awarded those two picks, it would give the Bears nine total for 2020. A much-needed boost with only five at their disposal this year. Never mind the fact that Pace has proven quite adept at finding talent in the 4th and 5th rounds. See Jordan Howard, Eddie Jackson, and Tarik Cohen for examples.
This should help ease fears a lot of people have about the Bears’ lack of urgency on the market thus far. It’s clear Pace isn’t going to throw all of his resources into 2019. He has his eye on the future and doesn’t want to sacrifice the long-term in hopes of one roll of the dice this season.