Agent Drew Rosenhaus may not be popular among his peers. But neither they nor anyone else can dispute his ability to promote his clients and himself.
In responding to my request to comment about the Bears proactive approach to signing rookies, Rosenhaus dropped an interesting nugget at the end of our conversation.
"We've never had any gripes with working with them (the Bears)," said Rosenhaus, who represents Lance Briggs, Kellen Davis, Tommie Harris, Israel Idonije and Greg Olsen.
"Hopefully, we'll continue that, and talk to them about an extension for Greg Olsen, and we've had success with big deals for Lance, and Tommie, and Adewale (Ogunleye).
Just last year, we did an extension for Israel."
Later, Rosenhaus added, "The next deal on our list will be Greg Olsen, at some point."
I wrote in January, shortly after the season ended, that the Bears might be wise to try and sign Olsen to a long-term extension.
The 31st pick in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft, Olsen has increased his production in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns in each of his first three NFL seasons. In 2009, Olsen was tied for fourth among NFL tight ends with eight receiving touchdowns, and he was 10th with 60 catches.
Olsen has produced, despite the steady play of veteran Desmond Clark.
He's currently scheduled to make a base salary of $550,000 in 2010, a very modest amount for a player with his credentials. In addition, in 2011, the final year of his rookie deal, Olsen has triggered an escalator that will bump his $650,000 base salary between $1 million and $2 million.
From his perspective, Olsen has to weigh the risk of waiting two more years before he get a chance to land a new, lucrative contract.
But striking a deal could be a challenge.
In April 2009, Rosenhaus negotiated a six-year, $36 million contract for Kellen Winslow after he was traded from the Cleveland Browns to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The deal is the richest ever for an NFL tight end and includes $20 million in guarantees.
Another deal of note was the six-year contract Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek signed in early December. The deal is worth about $30 million and includes about $10.5 million in guarantees.
Just a guess on my part, but Olsen probably is looking for a richer deal than Celek because he has more catches, yards and touchdowns over the last three seasons.
Rosenhaus, naturally, didn't provide a timetable. And I'm not sure the Bears are ready to go there. But it'll be something to keep an eye on in the months to come.