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For Stephen Paea, the end of the lockout will mean bringing his family together

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The end of the lockout will be a happy occasion for fans, NFL employees, and players everywhere.  It may not mean more to anyone than Bears rookie defensive tackle Stephen Paea, who plans to reunite his entire family in one place when he gets his rookie contract.

Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com wrote a terrific profile of Paea and his family’s journey from Tonga.

Only seven years removed from stepping off a plane in San Francisco with virtually no English skills and four years removed from being a backup on a junior college team, Paea should get around $2 million guaranteed on his rookie contract.

With the money, he plans to retire his parents and unite his family in the Chicago area.

“I just envision my family in a nice house. Not just my family here now — my daughter and my wife — but my brothers, my siblings and my mom and dad,” Paea told Wright. “To be able to retire both my parents, get my sister from Tonga to here and all of these things, it’s gonna make me a happy a person. Then I’ll be able to perform even better on the field.

“When the off-field issues are taken care of, I’m a monster on the field.”

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7 Responses to “For Stephen Paea, the end of the lockout will mean bringing his family together”
  1. dbellina says: Jun 17, 2011 9:19 AM

    I’m happy for him. His story reminds me of Tamba Hali’s.

  2. killxswitch says: Jun 17, 2011 9:38 AM

    It’s nice to see a guy focused on family like this. I really wanted the Colts to pick him in the 2nd.

    Though I hope he doesn’t overextend himself trying to move so many people to the US.

  3. duanethomas says: Jun 17, 2011 10:44 AM

    Mom and Dad only, he will overextend himself trying to help his siblings and such. He has to understand his first priority should be securing his future financially. Then on the second contract help his family as much as you can with them being adults. If they move they must get jobs and be productive and chart their own course…..also the 2 million guaranteed was in the last CBA, I doubt it will be that much.

  4. irishgiant says: Jun 17, 2011 11:02 AM

    good for him and his family. All the best, hope you have a long and successful career!

  5. bears0492 says: Jun 17, 2011 11:50 AM

    Love this guy..so glad we got ‘em in the 2nd

  6. hobartbaker says: Jun 17, 2011 1:34 PM

    These guys becoming legends before their time, thanks to the NFL/Gatorade “Everything to Prove” clips. Brilliant stuff.

  7. cosanostra71 says: Jun 17, 2011 9:49 PM

    I wish there were more stories like this, and less about guys like Kenny Britt!

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