Chicago Sun-Times

Stacking up Harris with top DT contracts

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With the Bears and defensive tackle Tommie Harris appearing to be near nitty gritty time for a contract extension to be worked out, you’d have to imagine any deal crafted will make him the highest-paid player at his position in the league.

Harris has to receive more money than Oakland’s Tommy Kelly whether the Raiders’ spending spree this offseason has been sensible or not.

When you talk to offensive coaches around the league, Harris is the first person they are concerned with when game planning against the Bears’ defense. Not Brian Urlacher. Not Lance Briggs. They’re worried about dealing with Harris. The Bears know what his value to the scheme is and that’s why a priority is being placed on ensuring he has help inside this coming season. Dusty Dvoracek is said to be doing fine in his recovery from a torn ACL from last September, but don’t be surprised if general manager Jerry Angelo makes a move for another tackle in the first three or four rounds of the draft.

Here’s a breakdown of three of the top-paid tackles in the game:

Tommy Kelly, Oakland
, agreed to a seven-year, $50.5 million contract in February. The deal includes $18.125 million in guarantees with $25.125 million paid over the first three years.

Cory Redding, Detroit, agreed to a seven-year, $49 million contract in July 2007. The deal includes $16 million guaranteed with $20 million paid over the first three years.

Kevin Williams, Minnesota
, agreed to a five-year, $33.24 million extension in December 2006.

The Bears are not going to say where they’re at in the thing right now. Anything below what Kelly (who is working his way back from a torn ACL) received won’t be in the ballpark. When you ask yourself if they really want to get this thing done, keep in mind that has been the plan all along and it’s what the club earmarked the bulk of its free agency money to do. The Bears need to address Harris, returner Devin Hester and kicker Robbie Gould. When that’s said and done, maybe they take a look at defensive end Mark Anderson.

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7 Comments

I can not wait to see what Dusty can do an entire year!!! He reminds me of McMichael (sp) a !@# Manimal!!! He and Harris will destroy the OL of opposing teams. If they can stay healthy I truly believe these 2 will be the best in the NFL next year.
Harris deserves more than Urlacher or Briggs in my opinion - Everything starts and ends in the trenches. Say what you want about the great players on the 85 Bears but our OL and DL were the best in the game and that opened up everything else, If we had an OL to match our DL we would be SuperBowl bound again. Too bad our OL won't catch up for a couple years.

In my opinion if Harris is not displaying as much greed or hatred for a team that is taking so long to redo the contract unlike former teammates, then he deserves a good contract especially if he GENUINELY means he wants to remain a Bear for the rest of his career, as he says. He seems to display heart, which is certainly a rarity in professional sports. From all the reports so far, he certainly doesn't appear to want trillions of dollars with an unacceptably high ego. He, like Urlacher, is handling the issue in a mature fashion, in my view, rather than creating a burden and stoking the fire of the ones who fill the feeder with unnecesary gasoline.

Randell, you are correct that everything starts in the trenches. However, I don't believe it ends there. That '85 Bears team had one of, if not THE, best LBs corps in NFL history.

That said, I also agree with you that if our current OL matched our current DL in talent, we'd be Super Bowl bound, provided: a) we stay healthy, and b) we get a decent RB from the draft.

Randell I agree it starts in the trenches but your comment on say what you want about great players is wrong. Sweetness ran behind one of the worst Olines in the game for most of his career and he carried the team time and again. They don't go to the Super Bowl without Peyton. You also ignore the best LB corps to ever set foot on a field on a team that played a lot of man.

Also why are you comparing Dusty to Mongo??? Dusty has been here 2 years and has played in 1 game and had season ending injuries twice. 1 game and 2 tackles and you sound like he belongs in the Hall, one game out of 32. He played in one game. Anything else? Is Mark Bradley the next Jerry Rice and Rex the next Elway??

Dusty MAY be a more unique player than Harris in that he is a big, strong NOSE TACKLE with the quickness to consistently penetrate against the run and pass. If Harris refuses the extension and Dusty plays the entire year without complications from ACL reconstruction, Angelo would be happy to use the money to extend Dusty's contract.

This is an important post because it highlights the reasons why Angelo did not sign Michael Turner, Berrian, Faneca, or the other ridiculously priced free agents in 2008. The fact is that we have our own Pro Bowl performers with expiring contracts. These players are huge priorities that NEED to be signed.

As a bears fan, would you sacrifice signing Devin Hester to a 7 year contract in order to sign Michael Turner? Would you sacrifice an extension for Harris to sign a 30+ Faneca? The answer has to be "of course NOT" because Harris and Hester are (much?) better players.

In addition, by "extending" a contract one year before it expires, you are giving this player a "raise" by replacing the last year of the low wage rookie contract with multi-million dollar contract and signing bonus. One advantage of giving this raise is that it provides incentive to reduce the yearly value of the contract which minimizes space and pressure on the salary...opening up more cap room to extend other contracts.

*Signing unrestricted free agents KILL the salary cap.

Lance Briggs...$700,000 in final year of contract + $6 million over 6 years = $36.7 million over 7 years.

Had Lance Briggs signed a contract extension he would count $5.25 million per year over 7 years, instead of 6 million per year over 6 years. The longer contract would allow the team to spread the signing bonus over 1 additional year. The result is less money against the cap per year for the same money over a 7 year time period.

Keep this in mind when you hear Urlacher’s complaints about the $$ he makes per year compared to other linebackers. He extended his contract 2 YEARS before his rookie contract expired! He just wants another signing bonus.

Creighton if you read beyond the words of Randel, He is simply stateing that Dust and McMichael have the same drive, nastyness, and high reven motor. That was the ONLY compairison that he was making. Dude stop skipping school to play so much Madden. Also Creighton There never was a Peyton that had played for the Bears let alone a super bowl. Walter Payton did. Again go back to school and touch up on your spelling. I know spell check doesnt reconize names.
Im sure Tommy will be a Bear for a long time. Hopefully Dusty can make it past the first game.It will be nice to see how the Sooner pair will match up against the NFL.

Brando now you know I can't spell so why why you gotta bring it up. Oh and if I had gone to school maybe I would have learned to spell. No thats a lie, I went to school and I still can't spell. Not much Madden these days though, some Halo 3 though. But I don't get to play online much cause I get my but whooped but 11 year olds wh ocan spell better than me.

I know what kind of comparison Randell was making, but how do we realy know he is nasty and all that. He has played one game in two years. That said I do like Dusty but like many of the player s on this team I do not trust him to stay healthy. I also just don't compare guys to All Pro former Bears when the guys have not played much in the NFL. Some guy today on these boards compared Tommie Harris to Walter Payton. I mean cmon, you cannot compare anyone to Walter. Let alone a 3 year DT who has injury issues, even if he is a great player. I was not trying to attack Randell it was more of a oh cmon type of thing.

Right now the Bears are stressing me out. The Harris talks have been called off, Lach wants a raise and Jerry is in charge of an offensive based draft. The Bulls already killed me this year, what a waste of season tickets. Now I got to hope the Bears get more than 4 wins. I still cannot get over Lloyd being brought in. I just want one good offensive draft, just one, thats all I am asking. Oh and for the team to stay healthy. I get better odds in Vegas.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on April 9, 2008 6:06 AM.

Harris getting down to business, we'll see if it means deal was the previous entry in this blog.

Can you say Otah in mock drafts? Oh yeah is the next entry in this blog.

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