Smith's contract extension with Bears should be completed soon

The Chicago Bears have been talking about a contract extension with coach Lovie Smith for a while now, and a deal should be completed in the coming weeks, according to a league source.

Smith has one year left on his contract. He led the Bears to the NFC Championship Game and the NFC North title in 2010, and he wanted an extension because neither he nor the Bears wanted him to be in a lame-duck scenario next season.

General manager Jerry Angelo has two years remaining on his contract, and Smith's extension will cover at least that duration and add at least one more guaranteed year. reported earlier this week that Smith's extension likely will be for two more years. The website reported Smith made $4.8 million in 2010, and a figure of $5.5 million for 2011 is not out of the question.

Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy received a reported three-year, $15 million extension after the Packers won Super Bowl XLV, while the Baltimore Ravens added three years and $12 million to coach John Harbaugh's deal. New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick is believed to be the league's highest-paid coach at approximately $6 million annually.

Smith led the Bears to Super Bowl XLI after the 2006 season. Chicago has reached the playoffs three of the past six seasons.

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