Bears’ Veteran Identified as ‘Potential Cap Casualty’

Nick Foles

Getty Chicago Bears players Andy Dalton #14, Jordan Lucas #23, and Nick Foles #9 stretch during warm ups.

Nick Foles will be the likely backup for Justin Fields when the Chicago Bears kick off their 2022 season, but with a new regime coming in, nothing is certain.

Foles is under contract with the Bears for the 2022 season, and he carries a $10.67 million cap hit. Chicago could save $3 million against the cap and would be left with $7.6 million in dead money if they let Foles walk next year, per Spotrac. Will they? One analyst thinks it’s a definite possibility.

Michelle Bruton of Bleacher Report identified “six big-name NFL players” that could be “potential cap casualties” this offseason, and Foles was among the six listed.

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Foles Still Has Gas Left in the Tank

After the Bears signed veteran quarterback Andy Dalton to a 1-year, $10 million deal in spring of 2021 and moved up in the draft a month later to select Fields at No. 11 overall in the first round, Foles’ place on the team has been in question. The MVP of Super Bowl 52 was relegated to the role of third-string QB — something he had never experienced before in his 10 seasons.

“Is aspiring to be a three what I want?” Foles said during training camp leading up to the 2021 season, per Alex Shapiro of NBC Sports. “No, it’s not. I’ve shown what I can do. I’ve shown it in the right situation. A player wants to be in the right situation where he’s running what he wants to run and doing it the way he wants to do it, in complements to the coaching staff. Listen, I’m 32. I feel great. The version of me right now is much better than the version that played in the Super Bowl, I’ll tell you that. And I’m confident in that.”

Foles played one game during the 2021 season in relief of Fields and Dalton, who were both out with injuries. He led the Bears to a 25-24 comeback victory against the Seattle Seahawks Week 16, putting together a solid performance. The 33-year-old QB completed 24 of 35 passes for 250 yards and a touchdown (98.5 rating) in the win, and it showed he can still win games in this league despite being a third-stringer.

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Bleacher Report Thinks Foles Could Be Cut This Offseason

Foles has been the subject of trade rumors since the team signed Dalton, but his hefty contract made him an unattractive trade chip to a lot of teams. That’s why Bruton thinks the Bears may just let him walk.

“There are quite a few teams that would be happy for Foles’ services. He was underused and mismanaged with the Bears, sitting behind Andy Dalton and Fields on the depth chart,” Bruton wrote on Jan. 25.

“Chicago’s cap isn’t in terrible shape, with about $30 million in space, but wide receiver Allen Robinson II and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks are about to become unrestricted free agents. When trade rumors were swirling around Foles earlier this season, fans were surprised to learn that even though he didn’t have a no-trade clause, the Bears did not want to send him somewhere he didn’t want to go. When the offseason hits, they can cut him loose to sign wherever he wants and decrease their cap hit in the process.”

Parting ways with Foles only makes sense for Chicago if they find a suitable replacement. Foles is an excellent backup, and since he’s already under contract, the team would be wise to keep him around unless they find a cheaper — or better — option to back up Fields.

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