McQuarters could have become a free agent after this season, but liked what he has here.
``As we started winning, I was playing pretty good and my stock continued to rise,'' he said. ``I could have gone to free agency and probably made some more money, but it's not all about that.''
McQuarters intercepted three passes, made 89 tackles and returned a fumble 69 yards for a touchdown against Arizona. He leads the team with 21 passes defended.
The 49ers drafted McQuarters in the first round in 1997, but gave up on him after they considered his personality a problem. The Bears have found him to be exactly opposite of what the 49ers thought of him.
``He came into the league, he was very young,'' Bears coach Dick Jauron said. ``He's got experience behind him now, so he knows how to play. He has the tools to play. He can make plays on the ball. He's a very aware player on the field, watching plays develop, diagnosing plays and understanding what people are trying to do to him.
``He's a very confident athlete. He's not afraid to challenge people. He'll change up techniques on people. He does a very good job. Now he's got four years of experience behind him. Hopefully, the next five will be his best.''
Jauron called McQuarters the classic example of a player successfully starting anew.
``They expect so much from the high picks so fast now that the pressure is immense,'' Jauron said. ``It just doesn't work some places. At the next step he's got that much more experience, that much less pressure.
``He's been termed a failure somewhere else -- now he can start from scratch. I didn't particularly care what everyone else thought of him.''
McQuarters insisted the bigger bank account will not turn his head.
``I'm going to be the same old me,'' he said. ``When I came out of college and I signed my deal, everybody thought the same thing. They said: `he's not the same.' People are going to say, `well, you've got more money so your lifestyle is going to change.'
``Of course, your lifestyle is going to change to a certain extent, but I really don't need anything else new because I'm living well right now.''
On Thursday at Halas Hall, McQuarters took almost as much flak from teammates for his contract as for his rap record, which was played numerous times during the day on radio stations. It sounds like modern rap and nothing like the 1985 Super Bowl Shuffle classic.
``I've done some things at home in the closet just with our own equipment,'' McQuarters said. ``But this was really my first time in a real studio, actually.
``I just love music. I've got my own style. A lot of people compare me to (rapper) 2pac.''
Wideout David Terrell boasted he's a better rapper than McQuarters. Then he was told about McQuarters' solo recording.
``Are you kidding me?'' Terrell demanded. ``He did it by himself?
``I might need to touch it up for him. I'll touch it up for him.''
The Bears' new recording artist laughed off Terrell's slights.
``I've challenged Terrell many of times,'' said McQuarters. ``After a while he told me to stop.''