The Chicago Bears tendered a qualifying offer to restricted free agent RB Kahlil Bell on Monday. Bell is the Bears’ only restricted free agent. The deadline to do so was 3:00 PM, on Tuesday.
The one-year tender is worth $1.26 million and is the minimum amount the team could have offered.
For a seemingly small but significant cost of $700,000 (remember Matt Forte’s total salary last season was $600,000), the Bears could have placed the second-round tender on Bell.
That was not going to happen.
It’s highly unlikely a team would offer up a second-round pick to obtain Bell, and the Bears do have the opportunity to match any offer made to the fourth-year back.
Bell has appeared in 20 games with three starts during three seasons with the Bears compiling 557 rushing yards on 119 carries (4.7 ypc) while adding 20 receptions for 137 yards and a touchdown.
Bell’s status also brings into question the status of Marion Barber, who has told the Chicago Tribune he expects to be released. According to Vaughn McClure, Barber has moved out of his Chicago-based apartment.
The only other running backs on the Bears’ roster are Matt Forte and second-year UFA acquisition Armando Allen. Harvey Unga has apparently left the team for good and no longer has a locker at Halas Hall.