suntimes
PROPER 
Weather Updates

Bears sign Earl Bennett to 4-year, $18 million extension

Earl Bennett looks for upfield yardage after recptifirst half Bears' game against San Diego Soldier Field Sunday Nov. 20 2011.

Earl Bennett looks for upfield yardage after a recption in the first half of the Bears' game against San Diego at Soldier Field Sunday Nov. 20, 2011. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media

storyidforme: 22180332
tmspicid: 8124533
fileheaderid: 3656760

Updated: December 2, 2011 2:26PM



The Bears have retained one of its key players before he became a free agent, signing Earl Bennett to a four-year, $18 million contract that includes $9 million in guarantees.

Bennett has just 18 catches this season. But the Bears admire what the former third-round pick brings to the table, in terms of his attitude, his toughness and his obvious chemistry with former Vanderbilt teammate Jay Cutler. He is also one of the better slot receivers in the league.

Bennett had his best season in 2009, when he caught 54 passes for 717 yards.

By comparison, the Detroit Lions signed receiver Nate Burleson to a contract that included $11 million in guarantees. But that was a five-year deal, with a total value of $25 million.

“I’s home, man,” Bennett said of Chicago. “The organization has been loyal to me, and I want to be loyal to them. They had the first shot at it.”



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.