Bears guard Matt Slauson gets a contract, too
BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter January 2, 2014 8:04PM
Updated: February 4, 2014 10:33AM
When Matt Slauson signed a one-year deal last offseason after finding the free-agent market “disappointing,” general manager Phil Emery assured him he would be rewarded if he did well.
After a season in which he graded out as the sixth-best guard in the NFL by Pro Football Focus, Slauson received a four-year extension Thursday.
“I know the Bears have a reputation of taking care of the guys that they bring in and perform well,” Slauson said.
He said he “didn’t want any part” of leaving Chicago.
“Matt certainly deserves that future with the Bears,” Emery said.
The general manager called him “exactly what we were looking for” — a physical, tough, smart left guard.
“He’s been very productive,” he said. “A player we’re going to reward for his excellence.”
The Bears hope Jay Cutler’s contract doesn’t inhibit backup Josh McCown from re-signing, but Emery said he’s “earned the right to have choices — and he’s got a lot of them, and he’ll have a lot of them.”
Cutler said he’s had “candid” talks with McCown, who could retire or maybe even find a starting job.
“The experience he brings to the quarterback room, it’s very valuable,” Cutler said. “We’ll see how that works out. The guys in the locker room are hoping that we see [number] 12 back next year.”
Emery called return man Devin Hester one of “a number of players we’re going to have to work through” when considering extensions.
“It’s an apple pie, and you’ve got to slice it up 53 ways and you’ve got to figure out who are getting bigger cuts,” he said. “Once you have a big cut as you do with a quarterback contract, it affects all the others. … It just means you have to think it through.”
This and that
Right tackle Jordan Mills injured the fifth metatarsal — which connects to the pinkie toe — on his left foot, Emery said.
◆ Right guard Kyle Long is a Pro Bowl alternate, Emery said.
◆ The general manager said “some day — this may not be the year,” middle linebacker Jon Bostic could move to the outside spot. The rookie struggled to make “instantaneous’’ reads and reactions, he said.
◆ Slauson said the Bears “still have one more” lineman to re-sign: center Roberto Garza, who’s “a huge part of our line and the leadership.”