Free Agent Notebook

The Bears secondary continues to be dismantled through free agency as strong safety Tony Parrish signed with the 49ers Tuesday. A starter during his entire Chicago tenure of four years, Parrish will likely be replaced by Mike Green.

"Tony was a valuable member of our team over the past four years," said Bears head coach Dick Jauron. "He was a big part of the division title we won last season."

The former University of Washington star will sign a five-year contract worth $12 million, and the deal includes a $3 million signing bonus. The contract is worth $7 million in its first three years and includes roster protections.

A second-round choice of the Bears in the 1998 draft, Parrish was an immediate starter from the first day of training camp. The durable veteran started all 64 games in Chicago and finished his tour there with 329 tackles, eight interceptions, 27 passes defensed and four sacks.

By re-signing Jim Miller and Olin Kreutz to big contracts the chances of bringing Parrish back were slim. The emergence Mike Green finalized the decision to let Parrish go.

"Mike Green performed well for us as a nickel back last year and he will have a chance to be an even bigger contributor on defense this season," said GM Jerry Angelo.

Bears Re-sign Shelton The Bears agreed to terms on a two-year contract with fullback Daimon Shelton Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Shelton played in 16 games with nine starts for the Bears in 2001, but missed the Divisional playoff game against Philadelphia, serving the first of a four-game suspension for violating the League's anabolic steroid and related substance policy. Shelton is eligible for all off-season workouts, training camp and the Bears' four preseason games. The suspension will resume at the start of the 2002 regular season where he will miss the first three contests. Shelton is scheduled to rejoin the squad on Monday, Sept. 23 prior to the Bears game at Buffalo (9/29).

Shelton had 12 catches for 76 yards for the Bears last season and was the lead blocker for the 2001 NFL Rookie of the Year, Anthony Thomas, who set a Bears rookie rushing record with 1,183 yards on 278 carries.

The Bears have to decide Wednesday, whether or not to match the Vikings three year $2.85 million offer to receiver D'Wayne Bates. Chicago is not expected to match the offer.


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