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Expiring Contracts

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One of the big issues that will be facing the Bears in the next couple of off seasons is that of the contracts of some key players.  While I don't have the full list Nathan Vashar, Charles Tillman, Rex Grossman and Lance Briggs all have expiring contracts either this year or next.  There are two articles that I saw this morning that briefly touched on the situations of Grossman and Tillman.

On Grossman:

General manager Jerry Angelo held off on pursuing a contract extension past 2007 for Grossman over the last several weeks. The body of work as well as the body of the quarterback was understandably not proved solid enough yet.

But before the big victory over the Giants, Angelo assessed Grossman's status.

"We like Rex," he said. "He's still a work in progress. [Sunday] is his 16th start, so it's still early.

"The things we see for the most part have been pretty good. When he has a poor game, it's obviously bothersome, and I'm not going to say it's no big deal. It's going to take some time, and then we'll be in a better position to evaluate him. It's not like we have to make a decision right now.

"But nobody is thinking he isn't the answer."

The coaches' backing of Grossman has been steadfast, and so is that of Angelo, the individual responsible for signing his alternative, Brian Griese. Grossman, Angelo notes, is playing under his third offensive coordinator in four years, and he was injured for much of 2005, Ron Turner's first year.

On Tillman:

Tillman's contract, like that of fellow cornerback Nathan Vasher, expires after the 2007 season. Tillman is making $845,000 in the final year of his original five-year deal and would become an unrestricted free agent after that contact, unless his deal is extended. His future with the team beyond that is uncertain at best.

The Bears already have said they'd be interested in talking about an extension of Vasher's contract after this season. No. 3 cornerback Ricky Manning Jr. received a $21 million deal prior to this year.