This Saturday is the deadline for National Football League teams to send tender to unsigned restricted free agents or to extend a qualifying offer to retain exclusive negotiating rights. It also is the earliest date that teams can release veteran players with high cap figures to take a lesser hit on this season's salary cap.
Before signing McKenzie Chicago had over $7 million in cap room, a percentage of which has to be saved for rookies.
McKenzie, a six-year NFL veteran, started six of seven games for the Browns in 2001 before suffering a season-ending ankle injury (left ankle) against the Bears in Week 7. Prior to the injury, McKenzie tallied 15 tackles (14 solo) including a two-sack performance in Cleveland's 24-14 win versus Baltimore. He was tied for second on the team with three sacks at the time of his injury.
McKenzie, a seventh-round draft pick (252nd overall) by the Green Bay Packers in the 1996 NFL Draft, played four seasons in Green Bay and posted back-to-back eight-sack seasons in his final two years as a Packer before signing with the Browns as an unrestricted free agent in 2000. In his first year at Cleveland (2000) the 6-3, 273-pounder out of Ball State established a career-best 61 tackles and posted eight sacks for the third consecutive season. In six seasons he has 142 tackles (97 solo) to go along with 29.5 sacks.