Cap Loaded

Every starter on the Bears offensive line is a millionaire and that spells trouble for veterans, especially when Chicago has spent 20% or about $14 million of their 2002 cap number on five trench players.

"We may have to do something down the road about that. We're happy about Olin and we're happy about our offensive line. Throughout the year that's been one of the strong points of our football team and we want to keep them intact to the best of our ability."

The re-signing of Olin Kreutz to a six-year, $23 million deal with a $7 million signing bonus, which makes him the highest paid offensive lineman in team history, could make left tackle Blake Brockermeyer a former Bear.

Brockermeyer, who has a base salary of $3.8 million, will count $4.85 million against the cap in the final season of his contract and could remain with the team in the unlikely event he accepts a pay cut.

Bears general manager Jerry Angelo has a history of cutting veterans. Last year he cut popular veteran Mike Wells last year when he deemed the Bears had invested too heavily at defensive tackle.

Who would replace Brockermeyer?

It could be mister versatility 2001 fifth-round draft pick, Bernard Robertson, who would have replaced Kreutz had he signed with the Dolphins. Robertson played both tackle positions and some center while at Tulane, but was converted to a guard when he arrived in Chicago.

"We feel Bernard can play any position on the line,'' Angelo said. "We are going to try and work him into the lineup.''


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