Chicago Sun-Times

Bears reward Garza with two-year, $6.5M extension

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The Bears have signed center Roberto Garza to a two-year contract extension worth a reported $6.55 million, including $2.6 guaranteed.

Garza, an 11-year veteran, is in his seventh season with the Bears. He has been one of the team's most dependable and versatile players. He has started 99 out of 108 games since joining the Bears as a free agent in 2005, most of them at right guard, but also at left guard and center.

Garza has been a key factor in the Bears' 5-3 start that has them in position to make the playoffs for the second consecutive season. He replaced Olin Kreutz at center on short notice when the Bears' failed to reach agreement with Kreutz on a contract at the start of training camp in July. He also replaced Kreutz as an offensive captain, a role which he is not all that comfortable with, but has filled admirably in place of the more effusive Kreutz.

The Bears signed Garza to a one-year contract in 2005 after the Baltimore Ravens pulled a four-year, $7 million offer to Garza when a physical revealed he did not have an anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

After he started eight games in 2005 -- four at left guard and four at right guard, including the Bears' playoff loss to the Carolina Panthers -- the Bears signed Garza to a six-year, $14 million contract that included $4 million in guaranteed money. He is making $2.1 million in 2011 on the final year of the original long-term contract.

Garza, 32, was a fifth-round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 2001 (99th overall) out of Texas A&M-Kingsville, where he was little college All-America center and NCAA champion in the shot put. He is one of only six offensive linemen to be nominated for the Harlon Hill Trophy as the best player in NCAA Division II football -- and the only lineman nominated for the award in the last 15 years.

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That's an intresting move, and a mistake. Garza is one of the worst centers in football. Even last night when they didn't give up a sack he didn't play well. The Bears basically run a missle screen well and that's it.

If you watch it's either Forte making people miss or cutting it back or Barber breaking arm tackles. Forte had some big runs but most of that was Forte the line is not doing a good job blocking it. I thought Davis and Webb had good games and that Louis had a decent game but the interior of the line was pretty loust last night. Angelo just does not want to upgrade the line, they didn't even watch the game film before extension.

Well you did get one thing, and only one thing, right. They did the extension before watching the game film.

This is how it probably came down: They went in at half time and said, "hey we are tied with the Eagles! Quick, let's screw the film and give Garza an extension!!!"

My lingering question has always been: how much do you pay the 12 year old that does the computer stuff for you to post? Based on your brilliant content, there is no way you figure it out on your own.

I never would have expected this? I figured Garza would hold down the center position for this season and Chris Spencer would take the job in 2012. Spencer was also signed to a 2 year deal. Obviously Chicago likes Garza for the position. Its gonna be interesting to see what direction Chicago goes inside once rookie tackle Gabe Carimi comes back, does Chris Spencer keep the right guard job, or will Lance Louis slide back to right guard?

I like Lance Louis for the job, he's big and can straight up knock a defender out of a play. Almost every game this year I've seen Louis pancake someone at least once a game. You gotta like the nastiness he brings to the position also, again, this should be interesting, especially knowing Garza will probably be the center for the next couple seasons.

Now, hopefully Angelo can hand some of that money over to Matt Forte GO BEARS!!

I agree. Being their live last night, I saw Garza getting blown up in the middle repeatedly. He was OK in pass blocking, but he's not run blocking that well. And he's 32.

I disagree that the whole interior played poorly, however. I saw Chris Williams making some nice blocks downfield, and Spencer had a few as well. They also held up pretty well against the middle of the Eagles DL (though that's not their supposed strength).

I just hope this is a preventative measure and that Jerry (or whoever replaces him) still intends to go G or T early in the draft, in addition to a receiver.

I was supportive of keeping Kruetz as center but I must say that in my opinion Garza has done a pretty good job considering he was literally handed the Center's position only weeks before the season began.

The O line has improved, the play calling and protection calls have improved for the last three games. It appears that the Bears are starting to growl a little and I applaud Angelo for resigning Garza, as the Bears will need a high draft center at some point but have other greater priorities for future years drafts like WR, OT, OG, DE, MLB, CB and RB not to mention the safety positions.

Go BEARS plunder and destroy the opponent.

The bears oline is doing a good job of not letting Forte get hit in the backfield and Williams and Spencer do a goos job of pulling.

Creighton never do you have a kind word to say about anyone. Roberto Garza may not be perfect but he's a well respected veteran team leader, an upstanding guy and he gets the job done. The Eagles didn't get a single sack on jay Cutler Monday night thanks in a large part to Roberto calling out all the protections and keeping the young players on the same page. But I guess that's not good enough for you right? You have to always complain about something or hate on someone that's a Chicago Bear. I am sure you are just a joy to be around in the office or at home.

But keep pretending you are some kind of expert because you spend all your days reading articles from PFF and then regurgitating what you've read.

Creighton, I don't scrutinize line play unless I'm watching college players for upcoming drafts. I'm pretty good on O-Lineman, not so good on QBs. I see that you iike the center from Ohio State; have you checked out the tackle from Iowa? He looks better to me than the higher-rated guy from USC, Kalil. I was stunned at your appraisal of Garza. I haven't watched his play at center, but at guard, last year, whenever Forte broke a nice 15-20 yarder, I was amazed at how often replay revealed an opening at least co-created by Garza. Are you being overly influenced by PFF? Why do you grant them such authority? I turned to it upon your recommendation and enjoyed reading how well Kellen Davis graded at blocking - I always liked the guy, going back to his days at MSU, and felt that the nit-picking of his failure to pull down that late pass from Jay on the sidelines was media un-saviness. We don't want Greg Olsen back, fellas.Do you think Olsen would have sealed off Babin all night iike Kellen did?
No way.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on November 8, 2011 10:49 AM.

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