Rosenhaus Looking for Long-Term Deal for Bears TE Greg Olsen

Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that agent Drew Rosenhaus is looking for a long-term contract extension for his client, Chicago Bears tight end Greg Olsen.

"We've never had any gripes with working with them (the Bears)," said Rosenhaus. "Hopefully, we'll continue that, and talk to them about an extension for Greg Olsen, and we've had success with big deals for Lance (Briggs), and Tommie (Harris), and Adewale (Ogunleye). Just last year, we did an extension for Israel (Idonije).

"The next deal on our list will be Greg Olsen, at some point," Rosenhaus added.

Olsen is entering the fourth-year of a five-year, $10.6 million dollar contract he signed as the 31st overall pick of the 2007 NFL Draft. In 46 games over three seasons, Olsen has caught 153 passes for 1,577 yards and 15 touchdowns, and is coming off a season where he established career highs of 60 receptions, 612 yards and 8 touchdowns. 33 of Olsen's receptions produced first downs.

As Jensen notes, Olsen is set to make $550,000 in base salary this season, and has already triggered escalators in his contract that will increase his 2011 base salary from $650,000 to over $1 million dollars. With the threat of a lockout in 2011 looming over everyone's heads, it would be understandable if Olsen attempted to receive a long-term contract, and for the Bears to resist giving one. (Especially after the club's March spending spree.)

Determining Olsen's value is going to be the biggest challenge during negotiations, as Olsen likely falls somewhere between the guaranteed amounts paid to Brent Celek ($10.5M) and Kellen Winslow ($20.2M). Healthier than Winslow, and more productive than Celek, a $9.7 million dollar gulf in guaranteed money may be too wide to cross this off-season, even with a deal-maker like Rosenhaus paired with Cliff Stein, the Bears chief negotiator who is unfettered after already signing all five of his team's draft choices.

What won't be a challenge is the 30% rule governing contract extensions in the uncapped year.

As J.I. Halsell of broke down, the San Francisco 49ers showed how to navigate around the 30% rule in the Patrick Willis extension. As a former first-round pick, Olsen received a substantial option bonus ($3.545M) in 2008 which raises his relevant "salary number" ('09 base salary, option bonus proration, roster bonuses) to $1.45 million dollars, creating a "salary threshold" of $435,435, a figure not far from Willis' $498,000. This means that in addition to a signing bonus, and supersede bonus, over $17.85 million dollars in base salary can be included in any six-year contract extension for Olsen.

Provided, of course, that they agree on guaranteed amounts at some point.

0 points

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.