As one of the oldest and most storied franchises in the National Football League (NFL), the Chicago Bears have signed their fair share of big contracts over the years. From all-time greats like Walter Payton and Brian Urlacher, to current stars like Khalil Mack and Allen Robinson, the Bears are no strangers to spending big bucks to secure their top talent.
Here are some of the biggest contracts in Chicago Bears history:
Khalil Mack – $141 million over 6 years (2018)
In 2018, the Bears made a blockbuster trade with the Oakland Raiders to acquire superstar pass rusher Khalil Mack. The team immediately signed him to a massive contract extension, making him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history at that time. Mack`s deal included $90 million in guaranteed money, which was also a record for a defensive player at the time.
Jay Cutler – $126 million over 7 years (2014)
Despite his inconsistent play and tendency to make boneheaded mistakes, the Bears were enamored with quarterback Jay Cutler`s arm talent and paid him handsomely to be their franchise signal-caller. Cutler`s deal was the largest in team history at the time, but it ultimately failed to pay off as he was released in 2017 after eight seasons with the team.
Allen Robinson – $42 million over 3 years (2018)
In the same offseason that they traded for Mack, the Bears also signed wide receiver Allen Robinson to a big contract. Robinson was coming off a torn ACL but was still considered one of the top free agent targets at his position. He has since become one of the most reliable targets for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and played a key role in the Bears` playoff run in 2018.
Mike Glennon – $45 million over 3 years (2017)
One of the more infamously bad contracts in recent NFL history, the Bears signed journeyman quarterback Mike Glennon to a huge deal in free agency in 2017. The expectation was that Glennon would be the team`s starter for the foreseeable future, but he was benched after just four games in favor of rookie Trubisky. Despite the massive investment, Glennon was released after just one season with the team.
Walter Payton – $1.4 million over 5 years (1980)
While it may not seem like much by today`s standards, Walter Payton`s contract in 1980 was one of the biggest in NFL history at the time. The legendary running back had already established himself as one of the best players in the league and the Bears were committed to keeping him in Chicago for the long haul. Payton went on to have several more outstanding seasons with the Bears and cemented his legacy as one of the greatest players in NFL history.
In conclusion, the Chicago Bears have a history of making big investments in their top talent. While some of these contracts have paid off (like Mack and Robinson), others have been costly mistakes (like Cutler and Glennon). However, as a team committed to winning championships and bringing glory to the Windy City, the Bears will likely continue to make big moves in the years to come.