The Bears are fiscally good position hovering around $12 million under the salary cap, but more room is needed if they want to be players in free agency. According to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times, there are several ways to skin a cap:
'But one way the Bears could create about $8 million in cap savings would be by converting most of defensive end Julius Peppers’ $12.9 million base salary for 2013 into a roster bonus, then adding two “dummy years” to his deal, which is set to expire in 2015. By doing so, the Bears could almost cut his $16.38 million cap number in half, depending on structure, then spread some of the hit into 2016 or 2017, when the salary cap could increase.
The Bears also could create significant cap space by signing a couple of players to extensions. The most obvious candidates are cornerbacks Charles Tillman ($8 million cap number) and Tim Jennings ($5.1 million) and kicker Robbie Gould ($2.92 million), two sources said. Extensions for those three players could save another $8 million.'