Tommie Harris fell short on playing time; future bonus reduced

Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris has a clause in his contract calling for an $8 million roster bonus in 2012, but that bonus amount is reduced by $1.5 million every year he plays less than 74 percent of the Bears’ defensive snaps.

For the second consecutive year, Harris fell short of the 74 percent mark in 2009, and as a result that bonus is now down to $5 million.

Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports that Harris was on the field for 607 of the Bears’ 1,068 defensive snaps (56.8 percent) in 2009. To reach the 74 percent mark, Harris would have had to play 184 more snaps than he did.

Harris was benched for the game against the Cincinnati Bengals and ejected early in the game against the Arizona Cardinals, but even if he had played a full game on both of those occasions, he wouldn’t have reached 74 percent for the season.

The way NFL defensive linemen are rotated, playing 74 percent of the defensive snaps is a tall order for any defensive tackle, and Harris has only played 74 percent of the Bears’ defensive snaps once in his six-year career.

It’s entirely possible that by 2012, Harris either won’t be with the Bears or will have restructured his contract. But as of right now, the calculations for the 2009 season are in, and Harris’s 2012 roster bonus decreased by $1.5 million.

9 responses to “Tommie Harris fell short on playing time; future bonus reduced

  1. It is a bonus! He was never entitled to anything. AND Don’t get ejected. You write this as if he is being cheated. He signed the deal.

  2. If it’s an 8 Mio bonus or a 100 Mio bonus, who cares if he was to be cut anyway before making it to the 8 Mio?
    Which is what the Bears were thinking …

  3. That’s good news for the organization. The less money paid out to an underachieving, questionably hurt/character player the better.

  4. I see a package deal trade in his future. Vasher and Harris will be gone before training camp

  5. He’s another NFL head case and it’s time for him to move on. Enough already…let him become somebody else’s problem. Might be a perfect fit in Oakland!

  6. I don’t understand why this is such an issue… Tommie knows his contract was restructured to pay him for performing. He also knows he hasn’t been performing up to his own standard the last couple years, let alone the team’s. He should be thankful he has another opportunity, and I’m sure he is.

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