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Bears sign coach Lovie Smith through 2013

Lovie Smith AP

Bears coach Lovie Smith was under contract through 2011.  The last time he was entering a lame-duck year, he received a four-year extension.  This time, there were questions as to whether he had done enough to get another new deal.

In the end, the Bears found a compromise, giving Smith security but only half the security he received four years ago.

The team announced Friday morning that Smith has received a two-year extension.

The announcement comes roughly an hour before Smith takes the podium at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.  And it necessarily cuts off any questions regarding whether he’ll get an extension.

Instead, the assembled media will be asking him why he received only a two-year extension.

As a practical matter, the two-year extension means that, if the Bears collapse in 2011, the buyout will consist only of two years’ pay.  If the collapse comes in 2012, the Bears will owe him only one more season of salary if they move on by moving Smith out.

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16 Responses to “Bears sign coach Lovie Smith through 2013”
  1. sneckel23 says: Feb 25, 2011 9:22 AM

    As a Packer fan I say YES!

  2. toe4 says: Feb 25, 2011 9:36 AM

    Oh no, poor Lovie. He received the dreaded two year extension as a “vote of confidence.”

    Verily I say unto you his days are numbered.

  3. obxastronaut says: Feb 25, 2011 9:41 AM

    As another Packer fan I say YES TOO!

  4. randolph32 says: Feb 25, 2011 9:44 AM

    He’s now aligned with Angelo and Phillips, all signed through 2013…the Triumvirate can be replaced then without the McCaskey family digging into their pockets, so unless they really pull something off, there is hope down the road for a group that can actually make this a viable NFL Franchise.

  5. ch0rn says: Feb 25, 2011 9:48 AM

    A 2 year extension is really nothing, letting him go into a final year as a lame duck would be the worst thing they can do. And you can’t fire a coach after going to the Championship game. 2 Year extension is about the minimum thing they can give him. With such a small extension nothing says if the Bears totally bomb this season they can’t clean house.

  6. chwtom says: Feb 25, 2011 9:51 AM

    Lovie Smith is the only coach I know who has a player-like boost in performance in contract years.

    In his 2006 contract year, he went to the Super Bowl and then signed a huge contract. He then missed the playoffs the next 3 years.

    Now he is in another contract year, and manages to make the NFC championship game.

    Lovie is paid as though he’s one of the top coaches in football. I just wish he would coach like it in year’s where his paycheck isn’t on the line.

    He should also send a big thank you to the referee who called Calvin Johnson’s catch a no-catch at the beginning of the year. If the Bears lose that game, the season takes a whole different turn, and he might be looking for work rather than getting extended.

  7. chwtom says: Feb 25, 2011 9:53 AM

    randolph32, the “triumverate” can’t be replaced until after the 2013 season (3 seasons from now) without paying two regimes–that’s never, ever going to happen.

    We’re stuck with this well-paid mediocrity until then.

  8. gregjennings85 says: Feb 25, 2011 10:00 AM

    Yes. This is awesome news.

    Now, lock up Jerry Angelo until 2040.

  9. brooklynniner19 says: Feb 25, 2011 10:00 AM

    A two year deal? Wth is that? LoL thats a show me right now type of deal and I net if they stink it up next season he will be fired.

  10. packattack1967 says: Feb 25, 2011 10:03 AM

    Misery in the Midway.

  11. bordner says: Feb 25, 2011 10:26 AM

    Perfect! This will keep the bears mediocre at best for a few more years.

    Now, if we could just find a way to bring Chilly back to the Queens…

  12. jimmysee says: Feb 25, 2011 11:33 AM

    I’m a Packers fan and I believe everyone is selling Lovie short.

    He is a good coach who has turned the team around despite being short on talent in several key areas.

    They’ve gone to the SB, and are 1-1 in NFC Championship games under his leadership.

    The guy deserved an extension —

    I remember the days of Dave Wanstadt — how soon they forget!

  13. iabearsfan says: Feb 25, 2011 12:28 PM

    As a Bear fan I don’t understand all the negative comments on Lovie. The Bears have only had 3 coaches in their history Halas, Ditka, and Lovie with an over all winning record. It could be worse we could have a team that hires a new coach every other year cause the team sucks year in year out.

  14. rockinron2 says: Feb 25, 2011 12:35 PM

    Funny how a lot of Packer fans (not counting you Jimmysee) are happy to see Lovie stay. He does have a winning record against the Packers and all 3 games this year were close.

    He does have the bend but don’t break philosophy on defense that is hard for a lot of Bears fans to watch after the ’85 attack D. But it works for what they are doing by making the other teams run more plays, giving the D more chances to make a play. That is how they have the most defensive takeaways over the past 5 years.

    Not even 2-3 months ago there were a lot of Packer fans on these post calling out their coaches for play calling and game management. Better hope they don’t fall back into that as you signed your coaches to long-term contracts. A lot can change in a year in the NFL.

  15. bearsbulls34 says: Feb 25, 2011 1:02 PM

    I’m not a hug Lovie supporter, but he’s done pretty damn good with the talent he’s been given. Jerry Angelo and Ted Phillips, on the other hand, should’ve been fired years ago.

  16. derrtony says: Feb 25, 2011 1:25 PM

    Extention for Lovie after a miracle season, you guys will suck for 2 years and okay for one, Lovie gets extention… repeat … Only thing that will make this better is if Cutler is your QB, oh crap he is.

    Xmas comes early for the Packers…. Thank you Chicago.

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