The Chicago Bears and head coach Lovie Smith are getting close to an agreement on a new contract that will pay Smith between $5 million and $6 million a year.
John Mullin of CSNChicago.com reports that Smith’s new contract may be in place within the next two weeks, and that it’s likely to extend him for a few more seasons at about the same salary as the $5.5 million he’s scheduled to make in 2011, the final year on his current deal. Smith reportedly made $4.8 million in 2010.
That salary falls short of what the league’s highest-paid coaches (Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll and Mike Shanahan) reportedly make, but it compares favorably to the new $5 million a year deal that the Packers just gave Mike McCarthy.
So while the Bears generally haven’t been known for paying top dollar, by all appearances they’re ready to give Smith a very fair deal, for years to come.