1985 Bears Coverage: Bears hopeful on Singletary

SHARE 1985 Bears Coverage: Bears hopeful on Singletary
SHARE 1985 Bears Coverage: Bears hopeful on Singletary

Every day of the 2015 Chicago Bears season, Chicago Sun-Times Sports will revisit its coverage 30 years ago during the 1985 Bears’ run to a Super Bowl title.

Bears hopeful on Singletary

Kevin Lamb

Originally published Aug. 21, 1985

Middle linebacker Mike Singletary and Bears president Michael McCaskey expressed hope yesterday that Singletary’s 26-day holdout would end today with a contract agreement.

Neither would go so far as to say he expected an agreement, but both said significant progress was made in their 3 1/2-hour meeting.

“It seemed like five,” Singletary said. “We literally fought. But it’s a good fight, and I really think something good’s going to happen.”

Ready to go home

Singletary said he had planned to go to Houston, his hometown, tonight until he talked with his wife Monday.

“I decided it would be really foolish to throw away everything we worked on so far,” he said. “When I look at the Bears on TV, I don’t think they’re the same Bears that I know of.

“Bear management has principles. I have principles. But I think pride has to be set aside and you have to get down to business. I think for the first time, we got down to business today.”

Singletary wants an improvement of the five years left on his contract, saying he was promised it would be upgraded if it lagged behind market value. McCaskey has a no-renegotiation policy.

Making concessions

But he’s willing to restructure. The Bears already had offered to accelerate the deferred payments, which comprised roughly half Singletary’s contract. Other possible changes would be incentive bonuses and bonuses for reporting to camp.

McCaskey didn’t even rule out shortening the term of the contract. “You can’t touch the base salary. That’s as far as I’m going,” he said.

McCaskey called Singletary an “exceptional athlete” and said, “It would be a tragic mistake” for him not to play this season. “Sure, we could field a competitive team, but it wouldn’t be as good.”

After the meeting, which general manager Jerry Vainisi attended for a while, Singletary visited defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan.

“I had to,” he said. “I haven’t talked to Buddy in so long. Seeing him, I wanted to hug him. But whenever this gets settled, I know I’ll hate him again.”

He didn’t leave without a playbook and some film.

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