Staying put

Tight end Dustin Lyman has had a bumpy ride since being selected by the Bears in the third-round of the 2000 draft, but it looks like he's found a home in Chicago.

Lyman would have been an unrestricted free agent at season's end. Currently second on the depth chart behind Desmond Clark it seemed as if Lyman was eager to test the free agent market, but Monday was the deadline for having bonus money on new contracts count toward this season's salary cap the Bears were wanted to something done.

The Bears used $2 million of their available salary cap money Friday, giving safety Mike Green that amount as a signing bonus when they locked him up with a five-year extension.

The deal will reportedly give Lyman an additional $450,000 spread out over the final eight paychecks of the season, which will count toward the '03 cap. He will earn the veteran minimum but will receive $50,000 in workout bonuses.

Lyman signed a two-year deal last December with no bonuses because he was coming off a ruptured ACL graft in his left knee. While he now has a little more security with the Bears, it will be hard for Lyman to move up the depth chart with Clark signed through 2008.

Noteworthy
--WR Marty Booker is expected to return to practice on Wednesday after missing three games with a sprained ankle.

--WR Justin Gage has six receptions this season, two in each of the last three games, and five of the catches are for more than 20 yards. The fifth-round pick's six catches have netted 136 yards and one touchdown.

--WR Bobby Wade, a fifth-round draft pick, has three catches in each of the past two games for a total of 81 yards.

--QB Chris Chandler's 70 percent completion rate (21-for-30) on Sunday was the best of the season for a Bears quarterback.

--RB Anthony Thomas (31 carries, 111 yards) has 440 yards and three 100-yard efforts in his last four games. Last season he had just one 100-yard game.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"It's critical that we get more pressure on the passer, however we have to do it. We had it only at certain times (Sunday), and we need to improve in that area." -- Bears coach Dick Jauron, whose team was held without a sack for the fourth time in eight games and has just seven all season, tied for lowest in the league and less than half the league average of 16.


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