1985 Bears Coverage: Perry negotiations beginning to thaw

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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.

Perry negotiations beginning to thaw

Herb Gould

Originally published Aug. 4, 1985

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – The chances of signing first-round draft choice William Perry soon are “very good,” Bears’ general manager Jerry Vainisi said yesterday at the team’s intrasquad game.

After a long discussion Friday between Perry’s agent, Jim Steiner, and Vainisi, they agreed to reopen the negotiations that were broken off July 26, when Vainisi angrily accused Steiner of trying to add $168,000 to a bargain that had already been struck.

The Bears had offered Perry, a huge defensive tackle nicknamed “the Refrigerator,” a four-year, $1.356 million package of which 32 percent hinged on conditioning clauses.

Steiner had countered with a four-year $1.524 million deal.

The Bears’ next offer will be similar, but slightly lower, Vainisi said, “because he’s missed a week of work.”

DENT ALL SMILES: Richard Dent, armed with an insurance policy from the Bears in the event of injury, was back in camp yesterday and said he was optimistic an extension of his contract could be negotiated before the season starts.

Under the interim guarantee, Dent would be compensated for 1986 through 1988 if an injury ends

his career. The guarantee has no time limit, and Vainisi, while agreeing to negotiate in good faith, said he still would prefer to talk contract with Dent after this season, citing the All-Pro defensive end’s rapid rise to stardom last fall.

“I’m back in business,” said Dent, who arrived here Friday. “I’m behind in bruises and timing, but I’m in top shape.” Dent said he hoped to see action in Friday’s pre-season opener at St. Louis.

BUCKEYES SHINE: A pair of Ohio State products were the movers and shakers in the intrasquad game, in which the offense defeated the defense 44-34 under a scoring system that gave both sides points for good play.

On defense, Shaun Gayle, a second-year cornerback who has been moved to safety, was credited with 10 tackles, tying Wilber Marshall for top defensive honors.

“What can you say? Every time you looked up, Gayle was making tackles,” said a pleased coach Mike Ditka.

On offense, free-agent quarterback Mike Tomczak, who completed 10-of-15 passes for 134 yards and the only passing touchdown of the day, firmly established himself as the No. 3 quarterback behind Jim McMahon and Steve Fuller.

Although Tomczak also threw two interceptions, he was satisfied with his performance. And so was Ditka. “I thought he did a good job,” the coach said. “Both Tomczak and free agent QB Ken Cruz are worth developing.”

“I had fun out there. That’s the name of the game,” said Tomczak, a Calumet City native. “The two interceptions were sour notes, but nobody’s perfect.”

RUSTY McMAHON: McMahon, seeing his first action since a serious kidney injury last November, completed just 1-of-9 passes.

“I just didn’t throw well today. I wasn’t planting my feet when I threw,” the No. 1 quarterback said.

“Jim’s just a little rusty,” Ditka said. “He’ll be all right.”

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