Bears feel Holdman is worth the money

LAKE FOREST, IL - The Bears matched the Chiefs four-year $12 million contract offer to restricted free agent Warrick Holdman, which included a $2 million signing bonus. The 26-year-old, who was the Bears second leading tackler last season with 145, will join Brian Urlacher and Rosevelt Colvin arguably the best trio of linebackers in football.

Holdman said the last five days were nerve racking, but he was happy to stay in Chicago

"I get to come back here and be part of the Bears and continue on something that we started last year," Holdman said.

Holdman, a 1999 fourth-round pick, received a tender offer of $563,000 from the Bears. However. The club's three other restricted starters -- wide receiver Marty Booker, guard Rex Tucker and linebacker Rosevelt Colvin -- all were tendered at $1.227 million, the highest level possible.

Chicago had to till Friday to decide whether or not to match the Kansas City offer. Had the Bears not matched, they would not have received the fourth-round pick they were entitled to as compensation because they failed to check a box on a form submitted to the league.

Bears GM Jerry Angelo said it was a difficult decision to match the offer, but he felt Holdman was worth the money.

"We felt like it was in our best interest for the present and we could live with it the future," Angelo said.

The Chiefs constructed Holdman's multimillion dollar in a manner, which would make it difficult for Chicago to match with three other restricted agents Booker, Colvin and Tucker. The offer sheet consisted of a first-year cap number of $950,000 that jumps to just over $4 million in the second year. However, Angelo said the Bears are looking at the immediate future.

"We'll deal with tomorrows problems tomorrow," Angelo said. "We knew that by not putting the high tender on Warrick that this was very possible in terms of him getting an offer. He did and we dealt with that. We matched it and we're very happy about the decision."

Angelo added the team might approach Holdman about restructuring the deal, but couldn't assume anything would be done.

"We can't control that," Angelo said. "If we opt to do that, we could initiate those conversations at some point. But we also have to live with the reality that we have to live with the deal as it stands."

Holdman said he would consider talking to the team about restructuring his deal to make it more salary cap friendly.

"I'm on the Bears and I want them to become successful and get better, so I know I have to think about that team too," Holdman said. "That is a possibility, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Right now I'm just happy to be a Bear."

The 6-1, 246 pounder out of Texas A&M has 307 tackles in three seasons with the Bears including 213 solo stops, six forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and three and half sacks.

IN OTHER NEWS: Linebacker Rosevelt Colvin and guard Rex Tucker signed their one-year tenders this week.


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