UPDATE: I have just read that a deal may already be in place and the Bears and Coach Smith are just waiting for the proper time to announce it.
On of the stories that got buried in tall the starting QB talk in Chicago, but still got significant press time is that of Coach Lovie Smith being the lowest paid coach in the NFL. There are currently 3 coordinators making more than Smith. That is about to change. The Bears and Smith's reps have opened up 'aggressive' negotiations and a deal could be reached before season's end.
The Bears clearly were the aggressors in the talks, kicking off the discussions after weeks of speculation about when they would. But Smith's camp was open to hearing what the Bears had to say.
Clearly, Smith deserves it and although the Bears have taken some heat for it, you cannot blame them after the Dick Jauron situation.