Kreutz Talks Heating Up

Mark Bartelstein, the agent for Bears center Olin Kreutz, reported some progress Saturday in contract talks with the Bears and was optimistic an agreement could be reached in the next few days.

Several other teams have expressed interest, but the Bears have been the ones talking with Bartelstein.

Kreutz got married Saturday. It's possible his Bears wedding present could be a big contract very soon.

The Bears started off serious talks on Thursday by offering Kreutz a multi-year deal that Angelo called ``generous.''

The Miami Dolphins have reportedly offered Kreutz a six-year deal worth $24 million including a seven million dollar signing bonus, while the Bears have offered the same signing bonus their offer is $22.5 million.

Kreutz will now have to decide where he wants to play. Either way he'll be a rich man.

HEAVY HAND
Bears general manager Jerry Angelo infuriated agent Sean Jones earlier this week by tendering restricted free agent linebacker Warrick Holdman a contract offer of $563,000 -- the lowest possible amount to retain right of first refusal.

Jones called it a ``snub.'' The ``snub'' is apparently worse than originally thought, according to a report by ESPN.COM.

The Bears reportedly did not ``check'' a box on their offer sheet, which means they chose not to retain their rights to receive a fourth-round draft pick as compensation if Holdman signs elsewhere. This openly invites other teams to come make an offer to Holdman so they can match or better it.

Angelo was unavailable to comment on whether this was a clerical error or a tactic designed to make Holdman's agent negotiate a new deal with the team for better terms than the Bears could get next year when Holdman has another year's experience and there is no right of first refusal holding him in Chicago.

The report said nine teams inquired whether the marking on the paperwork was correct.


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