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Durkin: Bears' Salary Cap Update

By Dan Durkin--

(CBS) Just a week ago, the Bears started free agency with approximately $46.79 million in free cap space. Twelve signings later -- seven of whom can be considered starters -- the Bears still have an estimated $20 million in free cap space.

Here's a list of the year one cap hits for Bears' free agents whose contract terms have been reported and recorded by the NFLPA's salary database.

* ILB Danny Trevathan -- $6,350,000
* RT Bobby Massie -- $5,818,750
* DL Akiem Hicks -- $4,500,000
* ILB Jerrell Freeman -- $4,000,000
* CB Tracy Porter -- $3,868,750
* TE Zach Miller -- $3,000,000 (assumed based on the reports of a two-year deal worth $6 million)
* CB Sherrick McManis -- $1,400,000
* RB Jacquizz Rodgers -- $685,000
* OT Nick Becton -- $675,000

Total = $30,464,168

Recall if you will, teams only account for their top 51 salaries in the offseason. That offset currently represents nearly $5.5 million.

Contract details for defensive lineman Mitch Unrein, receiver Marc Mariani and tight end Rob Housler have yet to be reported. But given their length, they likely won't be a material impact to the free cap estimate.

General manager Ryan Pace has identified a profile of player he's seeking in free agency. He's primarily seeking out players who are coming out of their rookie deals and are still entering the prime years of their respective careers. Director of football administration Joey Laine has structured a series of sensible, well-structured deals that leave the Bears room to opt out after the first few years, should performance issues arise.

Currently, the Bears have 66 players under contract. The team has nine draft picks, which will cost the team an estimated $6.7 million (not subtracting any offset from top-51 accounting rules). Keep in mind that teams report to training camp with 90 players and typically have $3 million to $5 million in free space to account for in-season injuries and/or possible extensions.

It's worth noting that offensive guard Kyle Long -- the team's first round draft pick in 2013 -- is fifth-year option eligible. He's entering the last year of his rookie deal, but the team has the option of extending him for a fifth season.

Because Long was drafted outside of the top 10, the calculation for Long's salary in 2017 would be the average of the third through 25th highest salaries at his position. At guard, that number should be around $4.79 million.

Long's switch from right tackle to right guard put him back to where he's most comfortable, but it also saves the team money. The estimated average 2017 salary for a fifth-year eligible offensive tackle is $8.32 million. That represents a difference of nearly $3.53 million.

Dan Durkin covers the Bears for and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @djdurkin.

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