So even the most ardent proponents of the firing of Lovie Smith, Jerry Angelo and potentially others have to know that it’s not happening now that the Bears have won the NFC North division. What I wonder at this point is when will his contract extension be announced, and what will it be?
Two issues are at play with the foregone conclusion that is the extension. 1, for some reason it is almost verboten in the NFL to allow even a moderately successful coach (like Smith) to reach his final year without an extension, and 2, by all accounts the McCaskey family adores Smith because of what a fine person he is. (Just like they loved losing coaches Dave Wannstedt and Dick Jauron, giving them extensions).
I would be comfortable seeing a two-year extension for Smith or something like that. No doubt though, Smith’s agent will be pushing for another five-year deal in the $5-6 million per season range. We all saw what happened when Smith received the 5-year extension at $5 million per season plus prior to the 2007 season: accountability slipped and poor decisions (ahem, Adam Archuleta) followed.
I hope ownership uses their heads here. I can’t imagine the family wanting to be on the hook for 3 years at $6 million per year if the team tanks in 2011 and 2012.