Robinson Signs 5-Year Deal

LAKE FOREST, IL - Jerry Angelo continues to keep his young players off the free agent market. Defensive end Bryan Robinson signed a five-year contract worth $20 million with a $5.5 million signing bonus.

"We look at him as a core player," said general manager Jerry Angelo. "The impact he's made this year has been very much an integral part of who we are as a team, in particular our defense. We stop the run and Bryan's a big part of that."

Robinson, who was tagged as Chicago's transition player on Feb. 22, was tendered to a one-year contract at the beginning of the 2001 season at the average salary of the top 10 defensive ends in the NFL worth over $4 million.

Robinson leads the defensive line in tackles this season with 61 stops (31 solo, 23 assisted) with three tackles-for-loss and three and a half quarterback sacks which ranks fourth on the team.

"He's been a steady performer for us," Angelo said. "I think that when you look at our football team, he might sometimes look like an unsung hero. Most defensive linemen are measured by their sacks. That's not Bryan's game. He's an excellent run stopper."

The Fresno State product is coming off of a breakout season in which he totaled a career-high 77 tackles, including 49 solos and 4.5 sacks, and ranked second on the Bears with nine pass break ups. He has increased his number of tackles in each of his four seasons in the league, the last three of which have been with the Bears.

Robinson has started the last 49 games (third longest active streak on the team behind Tony Parrish and James Williams) for Chicago dating back to 1998 when he was claimed by the Bears off of waivers from St. Louis in August. The 6-4, 295-pound defensive end was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Rams in 1997.

Bryan Robinson has been a mainstay on the defensive line starting 49 consecutive games dating back to the 1998 season.

Robinson's signing leaves the Bears with five starters who are slated to become unrestricted free agents (UFAs) at the conclusion of the season: quarterback Jim Miller, center Olin Kreutz, safety Tony Parrish and cornerbacks Walt Harris and R.W. McQuarters. Two top reserves, running back James Allen and tackle Jimmy Herndon, are also due to become UFAs.

The Bears are continuing to discuss long-term extensions with some of those players.

"For a deal to be good, it's got to be win-win," Angelo said. "When you have success as we have, the market sometimes runs away from you a little bit. We have to stay sober in the process, and that's what I'm trying to tell the agents as well.

"We're working with other players and I'm confident that we'll probably get another one or two done in a timely fashion."

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