By Dan Durkin-
(CBS) As they retained the rights to do, the Bears finally made a withdrawal from the "Bank of Cutler."
The NFLPA player salary database confirms that the Bears have converted $5 million of quarterback Jay Cutler's $22.5 million base salary into a signing bonus, creating $4 million in 2014 cap space. Brian McIntyre first reported the move, and the Chicago Tribune reported it occurred last Friday.
Cutler's 2014 base salary will drop from $22.5 million to $17.5 million, and the $5 million signing bonus is prorated over five years at $1 million per (from 2014 through 2018), dropping Cutler's cap charge from $22.5 million to $18.5 million, a $4 million savings.
What the Bears do with this extra money remains to be seen. The rookie class will cost roughly $5 million. They currently have an estimated $11 million in free space, so the rookie class was covered prior to Cutler's restructure.
Cutler signed a seven-year, $126-million contract extension in January, with $54 million guaranteed.
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