Harris offseason priority for Bears

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Its been almost three weeks, so either the figure has grown since Drew Rosenhaus put the finishing touches on a $4 million, two-year contract for Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Justin Hartwig, or the agent has taken a little vacation.

That figure is the $440 million in contracts Rosenhaus had negotiated this offseason when he completed Hartwigs deal March 18. Included is the $42 million that went to ex-Bears wide receiver Bernard Berrian in Minnesota, the $36 million linebacker Lance Briggs bagged from the Bears, and the $4.9 million Brendon Ayanbadejo received to play special teams in Baltimore.

Rosenhaus will look to pad that figure when he arrives at Halas Hall Tuesday to work on a deal for defensive tackle Tommie Harris. That will be the order of business for the day as general manager Jerry Angelo works to secure one of the cornerstones for the defense longterm. Harris rookie contract expires after this season.

Negotiations are worth monitoring as Rosenhaus has had a client pass on the Bears offseason program each of the last two seasons. The voluntary program begins Monday. Briggs was a no-show last year, upset by the franchise tag that was placed on him. If Harris cant reach a deal, he could be the next player to be tagged by the Bears. If so, that would mean he wouldnt reach free agency until March 2010 at the earliest.

Briggs also skipped out in 2006 after negotiations on a contract broke down just before the draft. Running back Thomas Jones, also repped by Rosenhaus, missed the bulk of the voluntary program that spring also. Rosenhaus has not had a client hold out of training camp or miss any mandatory functions, like veteran minicamp, with the Bears.

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