The Bears sought a trade partner for defensive tackle Eddie Goldman but couldn’t find a taker. After shopping the 28-year-old, the Bears instead will release him, according to a report from the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Friday.
Goldman had two more seasons remaining on his contract with the Bears, but his nose tackle position was far more suited for the prior coaching staff’s 3-4 defensive scheme. With the Bears transitioning to a 4-3 scheme under new head coach Matt Eberflus, Goldman seemed like an odd fit.
Cutting Goldman now saves $6.6 million against the salary cap in 2022. If the team designates Goldman a post-June 1 cut, it could inflate that number to $8.8 million in salary cap savings. Each NFL team can prematurely designate up to two players as post-June 1 cuts, which allows the team to spread the cost of his signing bonus over two seasons. Doing so gives a team added cap flexibility and allows the released player to hit free agency in March, rather than in June when most teams have their rosters sorted out.
Goldman came to Chicago as a second-round draft pick (39th overall) in 2015. He served as a space-eater in the middle of the Bears’ defense. His best season came in 2019, when he was a Pro Bowl alternate.
When COVID-19 emerged, Goldman opted out of the entire 2020 season. He made his return to the team last July for training camp after a year and a half away from the game. His 2021 season proved somewhat underwhelming. He appeared in 14 games, making 10 starts, and had 22 combined tackles. In only one game did he play more than 50% of the team’s defensive snaps.
After cutting Cohen and designating Goldman as a post-June 1 cut, the Bears will have about $40.8 million in salary cap space available for 2022, according to OverTheCap.com.