The Bears announced the signing of defensive tackle Tommie Harris to a four-year contract extension on Thursday, with a press conference set for today. The deal is reportedly worth $40 million in new money, with $17 million guaranteed. Harris becomes the highest paid interior lineman in the NFL with this deal.
According to Brad Biggs of the Sun-Times, the contract also assures Harris that the Bears will not use the franchise tag. Interesting.
I initially thought it was interesting that the deal was for only four years, when most extensions are for at least five, and sometimes six or seven years. But Harris will only be 30 when this contract expires, so he’ll have a shot at another final payday if he performs well. And signing away the right to use the franchise tag will limit the Bears following the 2011 season.
But let’s hope the fact that there may be new money on the table for Harris following this deal will remain motivating factor. But Harris, who has been the consummate Bear, shouldn’t need external motivation.
Now let’s hope the Bears can get something done with Devin Hester, and do something to satisfy Brian Urlacher, who isn’t satisfied with the $57 million he’s already entitled to.