And then there was one.
With Brian Urlacher agreeing to a reworked contract on Monday, the eve of training camp, all that's left to do for the Bears is sign first-round draft pick Chris Williams. It's expected Williams will be in camp on time, but there was never a guarantee things would be done for Urlacher.
By agreeing to terms with the face of the franchise on an $18 million, one-year extension, the Bears have taken a large step toward trying to build some harmony in the locker room after negotiations that were ugly at times this offseason. Urlacher will receive a $6 million signing bonus and has his base salary bumped up by $1 million each of the next four seasons. The $1 million bumps are not contingent on play time, which is how the club's original offer was structured.
Urlacher underwent neck surgery this offseason and has a chronic back condition but he played all last season and was in top form at the end of the season. He didn't like the idea of the $1 million each season being tied to play time and now it makes it simple for Urlacher--if he plays the next four seasons he'll earn $10 million more than he was set to pull down as part of the $56.65 million, nine-year deal he signed in 2003.
Urlacher is now under contract through 2012 at a cost of $8 million.
The Bears are still working on signing Williams, who is represented by the same agents who handle Urlacher. It's imperative he be in camp from Day 1 if he is to lock down the starting left tackle position. When the Bears sign Williams they will have to release one player to reach the 80-man limit. With the recent addition of running back Kevin Jones, that or fullback would figure to be possible positions the team could target.
Stay tuned for more information.