Bears Offer Urlacher An Extension?

This one is a little confusing.  Reading this article it seems that the Bears have offered MLB Brian Urlacher a 1 year extension, but then does not really say it was offered that he did not accept it, but kind of does?!?

Urlacher is currently in his fifth year on his current 9 year deal that could pay him a max of $56.65 million. 

His existing contract pays him $3.95 million in base salary this season and rises to $4.95 million in 2009, $6.15 million in 2010 and $7.35 million in 2011, totaling $22.4 million. The Bears tied another $4 million in escalators to playing time in their offer and tacked on a year in 2012 with a $9 million base salary.

If he can stay healthy, Urlacher would collect on a $1 million escalator added to each year of the existing deal. He would trigger the extra pay by being on the field for 85 percent of the defensive snaps, which means he could miss roughly two games and a quarter of a third and still be paid.

The new one year extension could pay Urlacher upwards of $18 million.  Five million of that in up front money.  Sources say Urlacher is not against the total amount he just wants more up front.

I'm a little mixed up on this one.  For one, Urlacher is the face of the franchise and we all like him.  He has carried on a tradition of great middle linebackers.  He has done so with class and has rarely been a thorn in the side of the franchise, minus a few off the field instances.  On the other, he is going into his 9th season.  His current deal carries him until his 12th season.  Plus he is now having issues with his back and neck.  Could this be a case of him not thinking he is going to be around for the remaining 4 years of his deal and is trying to cash in one more time?

 

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