Bears general manager Jerry Angelo insisted coach Lovie Smith would get an extension, and the club announced it this morning.
Smith agreed to a two-year extension that keeps him with the Bears through 2013, when Angelo’s current contract is set to expire.
“I’m excited for coach Smith and his family,” Bears kicker and NFL Players Association representative Robbie Gould said. “His extension is well deserved.”
Heading into the 2010 season, Smith was widely believed to be on the proverbial hot seat, because the Bears hadn’t reached the postseason in three consecutive seasons after winning the NFC. But the Bears were a surprise team in 2010, winning the NFC North and reaching the NFC title game.
Smith has led the Bears to three NFC North titles. In addition, his 66 wins are third-most in franchise history, training George Halas and Mike Ditka.
The team didn’t announce terms of the deal. But Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy recently signed a deal that averaged $5 million a year. Smith’s last extension paid him an average of $5.5 million a season.
Even if he accepted a deal for that amount, Smith would remain among the league’s highest-paid coaches. Washington’s Mike Shanahan is believed to make $7 million a year, and New England’s Bill Belichick, Seattle’s Pete Carroll and Philadelphia’s Andy Reid are among those making at least $6 million a year.