Bears Protected Against Harris

A String of One-Year Contracts
Brad Biggs, in the National Football Post, breaks down the Bears' contractual relationship with Tommie Harris:

The Bears, who knew of Harris' knee condition following arthroscopic
surgery in January 2008, also protected themselves, as much as a team
can any way, in the $40-million, four-year extension they wrote for
Harris last summer. The deal included $10 million guaranteed, but what
is remaining on the contract, which runs through 2012, is basically a
series of roster bonuses, none of which is guaranteed. In essence, it
becomes a string of one-year contracts.

In so much as it's believed that Lovie Smith is coaching for his Bears' life this season, I think we can assume that Tommie Harris has the next sixteen games (and hopefully more) to prove he can stay on the field.  Otherwise the Bears would be insane to pay a roster bonus to a player that's never on the roster.

Devin Aromashodu's Roster Spot
Contrary to what's on Da Site, Tribune and some of the other blogs, Mash is still a significant long shot to make this roster at wide receiver.  Yes he's been performing well in practice.  But the history of the NFL is littered with guys whose only highlights come in the heat of the summer.  But Mash will be getting significant playing time with Caleb Hanie and the number 2s throughout the preseason and is quickly becoming a pretty good story.  By the way, what are the odds of having two receivers named Devin?


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  • Good to hear...after listening to Tommie talk to the media I was left with the sinking feeling that this kid knows his best days are behind him and he is simply riding the gravy train. I especially disliked the way he side-stepped the question about his confidence in a HEALTHY return.. he was like "am I confident? Ya, I can play this game on one leg, blah blah, blah" No Tommie, you can't. Somehow, the dipshits upstairs seem to believe that you can though. I'd love to see 91 tcob this year but I feel like it is going to be a long shot that he is healthy for 16+ games.

  • I really don't mean to kill Tommie Harris but he's got to be one of the biggest disappointments in the history of this franchise.

  • We all would love to see Tommie back at 100%. But honestly there is no reason so expect it.

    So far as receivers, I think Means' injury makes it more likely that the Bears will carry 6 WR. Makes much more sense to me than 4 TE, unless of course that luxury TE takes Jason McKie's place.

  • I meant "to", not "so", and "Mines", not "Means".

    What a pathetic proff-reader :) I am.

  • I hate to keep going to bat for Tommie (because I'm really not a Harris apologist) but come the fuck on, Jeff. " of the biggest disappointments in the history of this franchise"???? Where were you in the 90's? I remember the 60's and 70's too. Bad time to be a Bears fan. I would have PRAYED for a 5 sack season from players back then.

    If there is anyone on the current Defensive Line who is a major disappointment it is Mark Anderson. Twelve sacks his rookie year, five his sophmore year, and ONE last year. If anybody is in trouble it is him.

  • Don't give me decades, Halas. Give me players. First off, name a player in the 90s they paid this much money for this kind of result. McNown and Enis were awful but they never showed to be anything else. The 80s? The decade was wonderfu. Who disappointed you in the 60s and 70s from the standpoint of production?

  • probably not gonna carry 7 WR. 6 at most... but i really think 5. I think we will carry 4 TE, with Gaines being used at FB on occasion. Add Anthony Adams to the D-line. I also think we will carry 3 QB's, just a hunch. I think Bullocks will be gone, mostly cause he sucks and Afalva has shown some promise. Otherwise, looks pretty good to me.

  • The two d-lineman that come to my mind as big disappointments are Chris Zorich and Alonzo Spellman. Alonzo went crazy, and Zorich never lived up to the Notre Dame hype. I don't think the money was a much of a factor, but Alonzo had freakish size and speed and could never put it together on the field. At this point, Tommie Harris hasn't equalled their disappointment in my eyes, but he passes both of them with anything less than a rock solid 16 game season this year.

  • I'm with, Ghost, Jeff. Big disappointment? Definitely. Biggest? No way, Jose'! At least we've gotten SOME flashes of brilliance from Harris from time to time.

    How about this honor roll of first rounders who delivered little or nothing:

    1971. Joe Moore, RB. Bears hunting for Gale Sayers successor. Joe gave his all but was hurt from the get-go and never delivered on expectations. They even drafted his Missouri running mate, FB James Harrison, who was also a bust.

    1972. Lionel Antoine, OT. One of WAY TOO MANY offensive tackles the Bears have counted on only to be found wanting.

    1974. Waymond Bryant. He was supposed to be "The Black Dick Butkus".HAH! He wasn't even "The Black Waymond Bryant".

    1991. Stan Thomas, OT (See 1972)

    1992. Alonzo Spellman, DE. JUST when he seemed to have right defensive end figured out, the Bears brain trust trades an EXCELLENT DE, Trace Armstrong, and moves Alonzo to the left side where he pouts his way out of town. He may still be in a rubber room for all we know.

    1994. John Thierry DE (?) He's a pass-rushing end! No! He's a pass-rushing linebacker! No, he's, none of the above and worse, he ate up a roster spot for YEARS because the Bears were ashamed to admit he was a bust as a first rounder.

    1995. Rashaan Salaam, RB. Turns out when you translated his name it meant "I'd rather do drugs".

    1999. Cade McNown, QB. AKA Cade McNone.

    2001. David Terrell, WR. Looked like the real deal for exactly 1 game. The Mike Brown O.T. "Pick Six" vs. 49ers in which Terrell made 2 nice TD grabs. But that was it. That's the list for David.

    2002. Marc Columbo. See 1991 or 1972. Sorry, what he's done with Dallas counts for ZILCH in my book.

    2003. Michael Haynes, DE. Having the name of one of the best cornerbacks in NFL history did nothing for this Penn State bust who ALSO held a roster spot too long because he was a #1 pick.

    2005. Cedric Benson, RB. We've definitely gotten more from Harris than we ever got this Texas-sized flake.

    I am hoping against hope that I will not have to revise this list and add the name Chris Williams, on whom the jury is still out.

    Yes, I had to cherry-pick the older guys these guys off a list of Bears' first rounders but I also SAW THEM ALL PLAY, or NOT play more precisely, and believe me, it wasn't pretty. I did not go back beyond anybody I never saw play.

    Note: The late 70s and the 80s are noticeable ABSENT from this list
    because the late, great, Jim Finks was doing the drafting.

    Other than that, I have no opinion on THIS matter.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Nicely done.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    That does make me happy...but at the same time, what the hell is wrong with kids these days?

  • I would argue against every single player on there, pre-Cade, because of the lack of a sever economic investment. All those players were "expected" (by who? you? the press?) to be great but they weren't paid to be great.

    If you broke it down, maybe it was McNown or Enis or Salaam. But those guys showed the team relatively quickly that nothing great was coming. Terrell sucked. Benson's disappointment is cushioned by the fact that the Bears only dealt with it for a season.

    Tommie Harris signed one of the most lucrative contracts in the history of professional football. He's been called, by proven commodities off of this site, one of the most talented players in the league. The disappointment in Harris is IN THE POTENTIAL AND ABILITY. I don't think it's a reach to argue that he's the most talented ballplayer on the list you provided and will be remembered for simply eating salary unless he has a career resurgence.

  • And what I've realized is that our argument is actually semantics. I don't consider a "disappointment" and "bust" the same thing. Mike Williams is a bust. Robert Gallery is a disappointment.

  • olsen on NFL Network!

  • Fontel Mines is done. Torn ACL.

  • Sorry, Jeff. My memory is not good enough to rattle off names like Al. His list works for me...I don't even remember Lionel Antoine and I had forgotten all about Waymond Bryant. Love "The Black Waymond Bryant"!

    My point all day as been don't write Tommie off yet. Yeah, he's "eating" a ton of dough, and yeah he has been playing below what we thought he could. But you're basically rallying people against him, and I find that to be wrong. He's still the best Tackle on the team, and to me he's not even the most disappointing Tackle on the team (where has Dvoracek been the last 4 years?). Just calm down and give him another chance...everyone on this blog was willing to bring Mike Brown back for a 10th after having been unable to finish a season in 5 years. Why throw Tommie under the bus?

    If he doesn't produce this season, then you can bet on a contract re-negotiation.

  • Maybe it IS a question of semantics but I still think you're splitting hairs, Jeff. First round money is first round money, persuant to the economic times it which it was paid. As for POTENTIAL and ABILTY, that's all VERY subjective but does Harris top Cedric (2 seasons BTW) Benson? Benson was the FOURTH pick of the draft while pissing away his rookie year holding out for big bucks. Benson DID show some promise in '06 as Thomas Jones' spear-carrier with 647 yards, a 4.1 average per carry and 6 TDs. Then the Bears give him the keys to the car and he can't even average 3 and a half yards a crack as a starter. Tommie Harris wasn't even a top ten pick. He was taken at 14, the same as the invisible defensive end, Michael Haynes. Heck, Lionel Antoine was the THIRD overall pick of the draft. Enis and Terrell were top ten picks. Plus, annoying as they are, Harris' injuries are real, no? The sad fact is that a lot of players lose their zest for the game after they get injured. Nathan Vasher hasn't been the same since incurring a major injury and the once very excellent, Neal Anderson, was never the same after he got dinged good for the first time. After that he just ran like he was looking for a place to fall down.

    After all's said & done, between the knee and the hammy I think Tommie's lost the will required to compete a high level and is just collecting the paychecks. He's not the first to do so and he won't be the last. What's more disconcerting is that this latest round of TOMMIE GATE is happening on the watch of much ballyhood DEFENSIVE LINE MESSIAH, Rod Marinelli.

  • Tommie Harris was a two-time All Pro at defensive tackle. Cedric Benson was a terrific backup. Yes, Tommie Harris is far more disappointing. He plummeted from the top to the bottom. Cedric Benson fell from pretty good to not so good.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Cedric Benson is the bigger disappointment, no question about it.

    While Tommie has let us down with injuries, (a legitimate excuse for poor or no play), Benson let us down with pure stupidity and sheer BAD. There's no excuse for some of the crap Ced pulled while in Chicago.

  • Yeah it does, I can't believe the refs threw a flag on that play, terrible call!

    Steltz also has some big hit highlights floatin' around on the innernets. I just hope those two can give us some material to work with in Chicago Bears uniforms. If I remember, Duff was our resident multimedia guru.

    It would also do a lot for the defense if opposing TEs and WRs had other things to think about when coming across the middle of the field besides catching the ball. Getting a punishing hitter back in the secondary would go a long way towards this unit getting their swagger back. Bears.

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