The Chicago Bears accounced this morning that they have given defensive tackle Tommie Harris a 4-year extension. Although the organization declined to comment on the amount of the contract, the deal is speculated to be worth about $40 million with $18 million guaranteed. The deal would make Harris the highest paid defensive tackle in franchise history and in league history.
Harris is considered one of the most dominant young defensive tackles in the game and in the last year of his rookie contract. If allowed on the free agent market, he would have landed a huge deal in a new city. With that type of leverage the Bears didn’t have much of a choice other than to award him with their biggest contract ever. The Bears will probably have to do the same in the coming weeks as they try to sign an extension with already legendary returner Devin Hester. The deal also allows Harris to still test the free agent market when he will have a high demand. When this extension runs out he will still be 29 years old and may command a contract even more lucrative than the one he just signed.
Harris has already been to 3 straight Pro Bowls in his 4 years in the league and has established himself as a force in the middle of the field. Offensive lines usually have to devote a double team to Harris, leaving linebackers free to roam the field, a key to success for Brian Urlacher. Harris has also had some issues with injuries but always bounces back at full strength or is willing to play injured to help his team. In the week 3 matchup last year against the Cowboys, Harris injured his knee and opted to play out the remainder of the season on a bad knee rather than take time off.
The move also ensures the Bears have a strong core on their defense that will be around for at least the next few years. Tommie Harris joins Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman, Nathan Vasher, and Alex Brown in the list of long-term players.
For more NFL news please visit: FanSided