Bears get two contract extensions knocked out
There have not been many contract extensions done during the season with the black cloud of labor negotiations hanging over the NFL, but the Chicago Bears turned out two modest deals today.
The Bears signed 13-year veteran long snapper Pat Mannelly to a two-year extension, putting him in position to set a franchise record for career longevity, and signed versatile defensive tackle Matt Toeaina to a three-year extension.
Mannelly will be among the league’s highest-paid long snappers over the next two seasons with a deal that averages nearly $1.15 million per season. Only linebackers Bill George, a Hall of Famer, and Doug Buffone have played in a Bears uniform longer than Mannelly.
Toeaina can play both tackle positions and has started 10 games this season. He was set to be a restricted free agent, and the Bears paying him now makes it more likely the franchise will sever ties with veteran defensive tackle Tommie Harris after the season. Toeania’s deal is worth nearly $6 million and has a guaranteed total of $2.7 million if you include his base salary for 2011.
The Bears have 14 remaining players who will be unrestricted free agents, including center Olin Kreutz, strong safety Danieal Manning, nose tackle Anthony Adams and strong-side linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa. Much of the team’s special teams core will be out of contract too, so there will be work to be done in the offseason.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune