Chicago Sun-Times

Bears restructure Mike Brown's contract, get protection vs. injury

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Once again, the Bears are optimistic about the return of safety Mike Brown and the contributions the veteran can make to the defense.

It’s not unlike any of the past three offseasons when he was coming back from an injury. This time, the Bears will have some protection in the event he’s injured and misses a significant portion of the season.

The Bears and Brown have agreed to a restructuring of his contract for the final year of the $17 million, five-year extension he agreed to in 2003.

Brown can still earn the $2.44 million he was on the books for, but he has to play to pocket it.

His base pay has been reduced to $950,000 with the remaining $1.49 million now in the form of a not-likely-to-be-earned incentive. It’s considered a NLTBE incentive because whatever the play-time trigger is to earn him the pay (that percentage of snaps is not known) is greater than he had last season. Obviously, that doesn’t take much considering Brown went out in the season opener at San Diego with a torn ACL in his left knee. Inside the Bears isn’t going to venture a guess as to what the clause is, but suffice to say it’s more than 1/16 of the snaps.

There is a split in Brown's contract too. If he's injured prior to the start of the season and forced onto injured reserve, the club can reduce his base pay to $320,000. Getting through training camp and the preseason has not been his problem, although he did sit out the 2006 preseason.

This provides the club with protection in the event Brown breaks down again. There has to be some concern about his ability to play free safety given that he’s had leg injuries for four straight years—Achilles tendon, calf muscle, Lisfranc ligament and the knee. Eventually, that wear and tear is going to take a toll on a 30-year-old.

Coach Lovie Smith has had nothing but glowing remarks when it comes to Brown. General manager Jerry Angelo has been a little more reserved, saying he knows the club cannot count on Brown.

We’ll get a first look at him Wednesday at the OTA open to media.

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15 Comments

Win-win for both Bears and Mike Brown, providing he stays healthy.

its sad but true, mike brown will never reach a glorious career because of injury. hopefully he has his first healthy season in four years, if not count on him not returning.

At least there will be no middle ground on the Mike Brown speculation this year. If he is healthy and playing at the end of the season he stays. If he's not playing at season's end he's gone. Obviously we all hope for the former.

Biggest tragedy would be if he stays healthy but has lost a step and is no longer effective. At least we know one thing - he's killing himself in the off season training room ensuring getting 100% out of what he's got.

While Cedric's floating on lake travis and saying junk like let forte take the blame this year, Mike Brown is not blaming anyone for his star crossed history and making it happen. Benson stinks in attitude, energy, heart, and committment. He has zero sense of team and defines clubhouse poison and the lack of intangibles that should have a player cut regardless of percieved talent. If I was his offensive lineman I wouldn't block hard for him. He needs to go - and fast. Think about something? While most of us and the nfl wouldn't take Ricky Williams if he played for free, I'd MUCH RATHER have the mercurial, unreliable, cowardly, head case Ricky on my team than Cedric in a heart beat.

Go Mike Brown and Go Bears.

I picked up Ricky last year for my fantasy team and thought he would help me to the playoffs, (before the injury) he played that well. He really would be an upgrade over Benson, screw a bunch of headcase the guy can still get it period, and I don't believe that Miami had a decent O line did they?
D!@# I'd like to trade Benson for Williams any day!and I am not that down on Benson I'll give him this year then...

If Mike Brown is that good (we know he is) then maybe my assumptions on our record (if he stays healthy) are low...he can impact the D that much.
With Dusty healthy this D could be back to SuperBowl form.

I wish Mike Brown all the luck in the world. This is what a true leader does and what a guy does when he loves what he is doing. Urlacher and Briggs could learn a little something about character from Mr. Brown. Being from Nebraska, Osbourne and Solich instilled this kind of character in their players. There is a HX of leaders out of their programs that has only produced one booob (Lawrence Phillips) that I can think of. Thank you Mr. Brown for being an honorable person even though your surrounded by greedy players such as Briggs, Urlacher and Bensen.

Brown is a true team leader and how could anyone not have total respect for him. I would really love to see him have a great year and the team win it all, he deserves a ring.

Randy and Philbeart, you are both right on about Benson. Benson, is a joke and should absolutely be cut, but preferably be traded for something, maybe a roast beef sandwich is all he is worth. Certainly there is no heart of a champion in him. I hope the defense will clean his clock a fews times in practice this year just for good measure and the OL, why should they block for this guy?

The D could be back to Superbowl form and our Offense is nearing highschool form. Perfect. Dissapointing.

I think Brown should retire, it's not that I think he is a bad player but at this point and time he reminds me of a boxer who just doesn't know when to quit. Maybe this year he won't be hurt and I can go out on a high note, but if he does get hurt again and the chances are real good that he will, the guy will be a headcase for the rest of his life.

Scott, you have a pretty bad memory of Husker boobs. I'll state a few just to get you started: Peters, Crouch*, Collins, Incognito...

*for insisting he was an NFL QB despite being 6', 190 lbs and an option QB

Hello Fellow Posters: Mike Brown is a true class act! You just love this guy as a fan! Urlacher could learn alot from his example.but thats another story! I really am pulling for mike this year.he deserves a season without injury.there is a saying 'It couldnt happen to a nicer guy' that saying applies to M.Brown.You could just see the wind come out of the team,when he went down again last year.It really hit the team hard! Then it seemed like the injuries just started piling up after that.mentally & emotionally this team was a wreck,trying to get through the season,using 3rd string players at times.The cohesiveness was shattered on defense.Too many holes to fill at key positions with inexperienced young players.Brown is such a Huge part of this defense.he is the heart of the defense,he is the leader when he is out there! they talk about him being 30 now.but when you factor how much time he has been off the field.he could still have some good years in him.his body hasnt been taking a pounding over the last 3-4 years! he needs to go on a healthy streak now.I would love to see Brown & Steltz team up all year,to form a great duo at safety for us this year.the archuleta strain is over.Harrison should be a big plus for us on our rotation on the D-line as well.Good luck Mike Brown in 2008.GOD BLESS! GO BEARS!! GOOD LUCK IN 2008!!

Nope, I am saying give Benson this year, besides we have to, what are we gonna do? I have no faith in any RB except Forte :(
We shoulda got Turner and then we coulda got rid of Benson for a low pick and had the Forte pick for someone else. but $$$ Da aint made of.
Who's really gonna trade worth for him?. I feel Benson will step up this year, If not he's gone.
But Williams showed me he can still run in just the bit he was back last year, that says alot, maybe all that garbage was just smoke rings to keep the NFL from thinking about his pot. lol

Yeah, Brown for Captain and no injuries!!

Randy after looking at Turners pay, The Bears would have had to make a tough choice. Sign there own dynamic players or sign a Running back that has yet to carry the ball more then 100 times in a season.
Not only cheaper and younger I do beleive that picking Forte was the best option for the bears.

I won't begin to wonder if he will last the whole year. The funny thing is that no matter how many games he miss he's still better than the guy lining up. How do you not take a chance on him? If anyone else was better he'd be gone. I won't be negative about his chances because I will leave that to the doomsayers to do their usual. I won't say that he should do anything but what he wants to do and what they allow him to do. If the guy wasn't worth the wait then one of those "potential" guys would be in his place. It's like the Briggs situation; guys kept talking about how great Jamar Williams was going to be and how anyone looks good beside Urlacher. They went ahead and signed Briggs anyway and those same predicters had to sit around and talk about how he had to come back with his tail between his legs. Let me slither back with a 30 million dollar contract. You guys can laugh at me while I'm laughing at you all the way to the bank. It's funny when to me how you tickle yourselves with those kind of assessments. Fact of the matter is that if you guys really knew the real inner workings of an NFL franchise you'd be working for an NFL franchise. Sitting in Momma's basement waiting for football season to start has to be a lonely situation. I'm not downing the true fans I'm talking about the guys who don't ever back this team, no matter what.

Your last comment William is a valid one.No one has to mention a name or names to figure out who your talking about!

Mike Brown is a great player, the way he played against the Titans deserve him a pro bowl but i doubt that happening, he is still a great player and should not retire...

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on May 19, 2008 11:58 PM.

Assistant personnel man Brown leaves for Washington was the previous entry in this blog.

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