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  • Smith, Bears contract talks reach stalemate

    Barring what Lovie Smith's agent calls an "unforseen breakthrough," the Chicago Bears coach expects to return for the 2007 season without a new contract.

    Frank Bauer, Smith's agent, told ESPN's Chris Mortensen that talks between the team and coach were at a "stalemate."

    "We're not close, we're not encouraged and based on where talks have gone recently, Lovie will be a free agent after next season," Bauer said on Wednesday night.

    Smith has one year remaining on his original contract. He was the league's lowest-paid coach at $1.35 million in 2006 and will remain No. 32 on the paylist at $1.45 million in '07.

    Smith suspended contract talks shortly before the playoffs when he led the Bears to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1985 after a 13-3 regular season. Negotiations picked up shortly after the Bears lost to the Colts in the championship game, but Bauer said there were significant gaps on the contract terms between management and the coach.

    "It would take an unforseen breakthrough for this to get done," Bauer said. "And we are being more than reasonable in this market."

    Coaches that have taken their teams to the Super Bowl, even in a losing effort, are making at least $5 million per year, such as Carolina's John Fox.

    The Ravens just signed Brian Billick to a four-year extension. The deal, with one year left on his current contract, is valued at $28.5 million over the next five years, a league source said.
    Smith needs to dump current agent Frank Bauer and hire Jack Bauer. I'm sure he would have a new deal in no time.

  • #2
    Re: Smith, Bears contract talks reach stalemate

    Just pay the man, jeez. How far removed is Chicago from the Dick Jauron era? You'd think they'd want to get this done.

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    • #3
      Re: Smith, Bears contract talks reach stalemate

      Never realized the Bears were penny pinchers.
      sigpic :ram::helmet:

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      • #4
        Re: Smith, Bears contract talks reach stalemate

        Originally posted by laram0 View Post
        Never realized the Bears were penny pinchers.
        Actually that's been their rep. for quite some time now. Yeah, it's odd that the team in the 2nd largest market in the NFL is that way, and you'd think that they'd have no excuses; but they have stiffed players in the past and now I guess we can add Lovie's name to the mix. That is why I was kinda surprised that they franchised L. Briggs. Didn't figure they would want to pay top dollar for a LB, even though he's probably worth it.

        WHAT SAY YE?

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        • #5
          Re: Smith, Bears contract talks reach stalemate

          Originally posted by Nick View Post
          Just pay the man, jeez. How far removed is Chicago from the Dick Jauron era? You'd think they'd want to get this done.
          Agreed. I know the Bears are the chaeapest team in the NFL, but it's hard to understand how they can rationalize treating Lovie like this. What could their reasons be for not taking care of a guy that built the team into a winner, was the NFL Coach of the Year in 2005 with a 24-8 record over the last two seasons and got them to the Super Bowl? The Bears ownership just doesn't get it.

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