The Chicago Bears are going to have some extra salary cap room to work with after cutting two veteran defensive players just weeks before free agency.
The team announced on Monday that outside linebacker Pernell McPhee and safety Quintin Demps have both been released. McPhee started in eight games last season for the Bears while Demps started in three.
Demps likely would have seen a lot more playing time last season, but he was put on injured reserved after breaking his arm in a 23-17 win over the Steelers in Week 3. The injury came just six months after Demps signed a three-year, $13.5 million free-agent deal with the Bears. Although Demps will get to walk away with $5 million for playing in a total of three games, the Bears will also benefit from the move by picking up roughly $3.25 million in cap space.
As for McPhee, the veteran has had a tough time staying on the field over the past two years. Since the beginning of the 2016 season, McPhee has missed a total of 10 games while battling knee and shoulder injuries. Although he produced when he was on the field, apparently he wasn't producing enough for the Bears to justify paying him $7.2 million in base salary in 2018.
McPhee was heading into the fourth season of a five-year, $38.75 million deal that he signed with the Bears in 2015, and now that his contract is off the books, the Bears will get an extra $7.075 million in cap space for 2018.
By cutting both Demps and McPhee, the Bears have freed up roughly $10.3 million in cap room as they head into the beginning of free agency on March 14.