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Chicago Bears sign OL Kyle Long to four-year extension

By The Sports Xchange
Chicago Bears sign OL Kyle Long to four-year extension
Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long (R). UPI/Brian Kersey | License Photo

The Chicago Bears signed offensive lineman Kyle Long to a four-year extension on Wednesday that keeps the starting guard under contract through the 2021 season.

The extension is worth $40 million with $30 million in guarantees and $23 million fully guaranteed, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

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"Kyle is extremely talented, a great teammate and more than deserving of this contract," general manager Ryan Pace said in a statement. "He is a big piece of the foundation we are building and we only expect him to continue to get better. We are excited to announce this long-term commitment to Kyle."

Long, a three-time Pro Bowler, has started 47 games (31 at right guard and 16 at right tackle) in three NFL seasons (2013-15) with Chicago. He is one of seven players in Bears history to earn a Pro Bowl nod in each of his first three professional seasons. The others are Kyle Long, Brian Urlacher, Gale Sayers, Dick Butkus, Mike Ditka, Rick Casares and Harlon Hill. Long was the first Bears offensive lineman to reach the Pro Bowl since 2006, the first Bears rookie to make the Pro Bowl squad since 2009 and the first Bears rookie to make the Pro Bowl as a non-specialist since 2000.

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Since entering the NFL as a first-round draft pick (20th overall) in the 2013 draft, Long has helped the Bears allow the fourth fewest sacks (105) in the league and has twice helped pave way for a 1,000-yard rusher (Matt Forte: 1,339 in 2013 and 1,038 in 2014). Long was part of an offensive unit that set franchise records in total net yards, gross passing yards, net passing yards, passing touchdowns and first downs gained in 2013 and helped the club score 445 points, second most in franchise history. In 2013, he also helped the franchise record its lowest sack percentage (4.9) since 1982.

The Bears now have their guards wrapped up for the near future with Josh Sitton, cut by the Green Bay Packers, signing a three-year contract with Chicago on Sunday.

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