The Bears and Lovie Smith are both denying a Chicago radio report that they are negotiating a contract extension.
Smith’s son Matthew serves as his agent, and Matthew told the Chicago Tribune that a WSCR-AM report saying a long-term extension was in the works was simply untrue, because everyone agrees that a contract extension would be a distraction during the season.
“Coach’s only concern is bringing the Lombardi Trophy back to Chicago,” Matthew Smith said of his father/client. “Any discussion regarding his contract would take place after the season.”
Bears General Manager Phil Emery told the Chicago Sun-Times the same thing: All the attention is on the field.
“Coach Smith is very focused on improving his team on a daily basis,” Emery said. “All the things that he does in terms of myself, my mindset is with the personnel group and working with the coaches and making sure we have the right people on the roster on a daily basis, going out to colleges, doing visitations, getting ready for the next NFL draft,” Emery said. “There’s not enough hours in the day to have those kind of conversations.”
Smith’s deal runs through the 2013 season, and if the Bears keep winning, they’ll surely want to extend Smith early next year. But everyone agrees that now is not the right time for a coach to be thinking about his contract.