Bears make small moves to start the 2019 free agent frenzy
LAKE FOREST – At 11 AM Monday morning, the free agent fun in the NFL began.
That’s when teams are allowed to make contact with agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents when the new league year arrives on Wednesday. Already a few major names have gone off the board, including Landon Collins (Giants to the Redskins), Trey Flowers (Patriots to the Lions), and Trent Brown (Patriots to the Raiders).
But so far, the Bears have kept their moves simple on Monday, making two minor moves in the opening hours of the time which they may speak to free agents.
Tight end Ben Braunecker is back in the fold for two seasons as he got a new deal on Monday afternoon. The tight end was signed by the Bears as an undrafted free agent out of Harvard in 2016 and made the team that year, and has caught seven passes for 83 yards in 36 career games. Braunecker’s primary role the past few years has been on special teams, but has a chance to see more action this year with Dion Sims having been released.
Braunecker caught two passes in the Bears’ Wild Card loss to the Eagles, adding to the three passes he caught during the regular season. Trey Burton, Adam Shaheen, and Daniel Brown are the other tight ends currently on the team’s roster.
The team also reportedly freed some cap space on Monday morning thanks to some shifting of money owed to defensive tackle Eddie Goldman.
Per Field Yates of ESPN, the Bears have taken his roster bonus this year and turned it into a signing bonus. According to the reporter, the deal clears up $2.25 million dollars in cap space. Before the move, per Sportrac, the Bears had just under $15 million in cap room to sign free agents.
A second round pick in the 2015 draft, Goldman has 11 1/2 sacks in 52 career games as he anchors the middle of a strong Bears’ defensive front seven.