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Waiting on new deal, Sam Acho toured prison with Bears chairman George McCaskey

Bears outside linebacker Sam Acho, the team's nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, shows a Walter Payton sticker in December. (AP)

Outside linebacker Sam Acho got a note from a former coach with congratulations — after playing on so many one-year prove-it deals, he had proved himself.

Still, Acho doesn’t consider his deal — worth $3 million guaranteed and $7.5 million overall over two years — a multiyear contract. Because the second year isn’t guaranteed, he won’t let himself relax.

“I’ll say this,” he said. “It’s better than a minimum [deal].”


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Acho said he didn’t pay attention to the Bears’ free-agent moves the last two days. Along with chairman George McCaskey and Willow Creek Community Church, he toured the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana, and discussed prison reform.

Acho said his agent encouraged him to chat with McCaskey and tell him he was receiving interest from the Seahawks, Texans and Rams, but Acho refused. He knew the chairman doesn’t get involved in contract negotiations.

The Bears’ front office then called Acho in Louisiana and upped their offer.