Monday, July 21, 2008

Bears, Urlacher come to terms on new deal

The Bears put their money where their mouth is today and essentially just gave middle linebacker Brian Urlacher 6 million reasons to show up at training camp tomorrow.

ESPN's Michael Smith is now reporting that the McCaskeys continue to amaze Bears fans by opening up their wallets even more this offseason:.

Urlacher, 30, had four years and approximately $25.5 million remaining on his contract. Under the terms of the upgraded deal, Urlacher will receive a $6 million signing bonus along with a $1 million bump in salary each of the next four years. The sides also have agreed to extend the pact into 2012, at a salary of $7.5 million. Urlacher can earn an additional $500,000 in a workout bonus in 2012.

That's a total of roughly $43.5 million over the next five years, with $18 million in new money for the six-time Pro Bowler and four-time All Pro.

Here's to hoping that back and neck of his stay healthy for the remainder of this new contract. For those wondering, his original contract signed back in 2003 was scheduled to pay him $3.95 million (2008), $4.95 million (2009), $6.15 million (2010) and $7.35 million (2011). That was for 56.655 million with 18 mil. guaranteed, the richest contract in Bears history.

Now that Urlacher can finally stop bitching, that leaves No. 1 pick Chris Williams and Devin Hester with contracts yet to be resolved. From what I've heard and read, Williams and the Bears are close to having a deal done.

Hester? No one's really sure to this point. Before the contract was signed, the Bears were $13 million under the cap space. This pay increase should raise that total, and it will be interesting to see how the Bears go about paying Hester. Go front-loaded and forget about Favre? We'll have to how this plays out as the players head to "Bear"bonnais tomorrow.

BallHype: hype it up!

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