"I was a rookie, what did I know?" Pyle laughs. "This was back in 1961, well before any agents were allowed into the negotiating process. I was doing this for the first time, completely on my own.
"When I met with coach Halas, he told me that in the Bears operation, nobody is allowed to talk to any other player about salaries. We don't want anyone to be jealous, do we Mike," he said. "Well, I thought about it a while then I replied, ‘Coach, you just want to be sure that both of us aren't going to be embarrassed.' Coach Halas was not laughing at that point."
Undaunted, Pyle continued his attempts at creative salary management into the late 1960s. This time, Mugsy Halas controlled the team's financial destiny.
"I was single and not making much money," Pyle said. "My idea was to defer part of my salary. It would save the team some money up front, and it could have a beneficial effect on my tax liability. It sounded like a great idea to me. To nobody's surprise but my own, Mugsy said no right away."
The entire interview with Mike Pyle will be in an upcoming issue of the Bear Report.