Looking Ahead

Marcus Robinson's restructured deal will save the Bears about $1 million in 2002. GM Jerry Angelo continues to free up cap room in order to re-sign their restricted free agents to long-term deals. The extra cash flow will eventually be used to extend the contracts of receiver Marty Booker, linebacker Roosevelt Colvin and guard Rex Tucker.<p>

Both Colvin and Tucker recently agreed to the one-year tender offers the Bears extended in February. Booker has yet to sign his offer, but there is little doubt he'll be with the team in 2002.

By restructuring his deal Robinson ensures he will be with the team next season, but the wideout could become an unrestricted free agent in 2003 by meeting performance goals, which equates to a minimal number of receptions.

Angelo has downplayed the fact that the Bears face losing Colvin, Booker and Tucker following this season.

"I would say that we'll deal with tomorrow's problems tomorrow," he said. However, Angelo continues to create cap flexibility. Currently, the Bears are approximately $6 million under the $71.101 salary cap.

Robinson is not the only Bear that has been asked to take a pay cut this off-season. Blake Brockermeyer was asked to restructure the final year of his contract, but opted to test the open market as the Chicago released the veteran tackle.

Warrick Holdman, who signed a four-year $12 million deal last month, could be asked to redo his contract. The second year of the agreement pays the linebacker $4 million dollars, which will make keeping other players difficult.

Holdman said he would be willing to discuss his contract in the future, if it meant keeping the core of the team together.

"If I'm on the Bears, I am on the Bears and I want to become successful and get better talent," Holdman said. "I know I have to think about the team too. That is a possibility, but when we get to that road, I'll cross it."

Angelo has mentioned the Bears might attempt to restructure Holdman's contract to reduce the salary cap hit in 2003, but he conceded the team couldn't assume a new agreement would be reached. "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."

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