Have you ever been on a shopping spree with a really, really high credit card limit? Me neither, but I've imagined it many times. I'd walk up and down Oak Street, stopping in at every extravagant store, then head up Michigan Avenue and balance my Chanel and Prada purchases with some less expensive items from Nordstrom and Macy's, and then head to H&M to find some bargains. Also, I'd avoid the American Girl store at all costs.
The Bears are coming as close to a team gets as being able to go on that dream shopping spree. With the proposed salary cap limits for 2011, the Bears have a lot of money to spend, and even have tons more than their NFC North friends. Behold:
Bears: $37 million
Lions: $16.5 million
Vikings: $5 million over
Basically, if the NFC North were a bunch of friends shopping, the Bears are the team everyone hates because Jerry Angelo has his dad's American Express, while the Lions are on a budget, and the Packers and Vikings are just browsing. In fact, the Vikings are just there to return that sweater that was a mistake.
An offensive lineman? Sign him. A big-name wide receiver? Make it happen. Holding onto players like Anthony Adams, Rashied Davis and Danieal Manning? Yes, yes, and yes. Under this salary cap, the Bears will not only have the money to spend, but they'll have to spend some of it break the salary minimums.
Though the prospect of a big spending spree is exciting, championships cannot be bought. The Packers don't have much room under the cap because they already have a well-stocked closet, er, team. The Bears can go out and sign whoever they want, but just as you get home and it turns out the shoes don't go with the pants, receivers and linemen still need to gel with their teammates.