Looking at last year's acquisitions

Posted Mar 11, 2014

Senior writer Larry Mayer discusses how many of last year's acquisitions made the Bears' 53-man roster, why it's difficult to quantify how much space the Bears have under the salary cap and the chances of Nate Collins winning a starting job.

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on

How many Bears players on last year's opening day roster were acquired last offseason?

Donald G.
Bloomington, Illinois

Looking at the Bears roster in last year's season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals, 20 of their 53 players (37.7 percent) were acquired last offseason. The group included six draft picks: Kyle Long, Jon Bostic, Khaseem Greene, Jordan Mills, Cornelius Washington and Marquess Wilson; three undrafted rookie free agents: Michael Ford, Zach Minter and C.J. Wilson; 10 free agents from other NFL teams: James Anderson, David Bass, Martellus Bennett, Taylor Boggs, Eben Britton, Jermon Bushrod, Tony Fiammetta, Steve Maneri, Matt Slauson and D.J. Williams; and one player acquired via a trade: Dante Rosario.

I read that the Bears are one of the NFL teams who have the least amount of room under the salary cap. How much money do they have to work with?

Phil A.
Cicero, Illinois

It's extremely difficult to quantify exactly how much space the Bears have under the salary cap because it's a very fluid situation with several moving parts. When you see figures on the Internet generated by media members, those are only estimates. Like I said, the actual number is very tough to pinpoint and it changes every time the Bears add or subtract a player.

I was glad to see the Bears re-sign defensive tackle Nate Collins. I feel that he was starting to play well before he injured his knee last season. Do you think he will earn a starting job?

Russ H.
Highland, Indiana

At this juncture of the year I think it's too early to speculate whether Nate Collins will win a starting position. What I can tell you is that he will definitely add quality depth to a line that needs it and should be part of the rotation inside as long as he doesn't experience any setbacks in his recovery from the torn ACL he suffered last season. What I like about Collins is that he has the quickness inside to rush the passer and the Bears need as many pass rushers as they can find.

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