The Bears might have been willing to move on without Spaeth, who took a $500,000 pay cut last week, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed.
Spaeth had been scheduled to earn $1.775 million in non-guaranteed base salary this season after signing a three-year, $7 million contract following the 2011 lockout. Under the restructure, Spaeth reduced his salary to a fully guaranteed $1.275 million.
The cuts didn't stop there, however, as Spaeth's $2.025 million base salary in 2013 has been reduced to $1.025 million, though a $500,000 roster bonus has been added to his contract.
Spaeth was not the only NFL veteran agree to a reduced salary last week.
Underwood had been scheduled to earn $615,000 in base salary this season, while Stroughter had triggered playing-time incentives in his rookie contract that escalated his 2012 base salary to $1 million.
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Stroughter agreed to reduce his base salary to $615,000 on Aug. 31, which then was fully guaranteed by the Buccaneers, and his spot on the 53-man roster was secured.