While the Bears still have major issues on offense, they are still in the mix as far as having a good defense, and Thursday moved to keep that defense intact with signing DT Tommie Harris to a four-year deal. The deal is worth $40 million according to the Chicago Tribune. The deal guarantees him $18 mil overall and $27 mil over the first three years of the contract.
Harris will become the highest paid DT in the leagues history. The Tribune says that talks with Harris’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus, heated up over the past few weeks and Rosenhaus arrived in Chicago on Thursday to close the deal. The Bears would have stuck the franchise tag on Harris in 09, but both sides appear happy to have come to this conclusion.
The former Oklahoma Sooner was the Bears first-round pick back in 2004, and has been a Pro Bowler the last two seasons. Last year even playing with leg issues, he put up solid numbers – 35 tackles in 16 games to go along with 8 sacks for negative 47 yards. He fits the Bears cover-2 defense well, and should continue to play at a high level should he stay healthy.
The next in line for the Bears according to the Tribune will be Devin Hester, the teams biggest playmaker, and linebacker Brian Urlacher, who has been in the news a lot this offseason back and forth with talks of a contract. Reports are that talks for both players are already going on, and could have some closure by training camp or shortly thereafter.
Getting Harris done is a solid move for the Bears, as he’s proven his worth in his four years in the league, playing in 60 games, putting up 141 total tackles and 19.5 sacks.