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Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Jeremy Mincey was close to signing with the Bears Tuesday night.
Mincey explained to the media on Wednesday that a last second sales pitch from Jaguars general manager Gene Smith convinced the defensive end to spurn the Bears and instead accept the Jags' offer of 4-years, $20 million.
“At first it was a battle between Chicago," Mincey explained. "A bidding war basically between Jacksonville and Chicago and I am a loyal man and I don’t just play the game for money. I play the game to win and inspire people to be the best at whatever they do in life. The business is about money. I’m not about money but that’s the business aspect of what we do. Those guys swallow pride in everything. They jump up there and make sure they get me signed. Both ends were happy with the deal and it was an offer I couldn’t refuse. Plus, for my home team I’m back here in Jacksonville with the greatest fans in the NFL and an up and coming team. I just want to be a part of something special.'
"Gene really wanted me here, and that was the bottom line. He really wanted me here, you could hear the sincerity in his voice. For him to reach out and outbid Chicago in a situation they could have easily let me go and grab a few guys from the free agent market, but he didn’t. He chose to keep me here and that speaks value. I’m just glad that he chose to make that decision. That’s what grabbed me, pulled me in, and won me over.”
Mincey, however, had nothing but kind words for the Bears, a team still in need of an upgrade at defensive end to compliment Pro Bowler Julius Peppers.
“The Bears, it was a good fit," Mincey said. "Who wouldn’t want to play beside Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher? Like I said, they’re a first-class organization. They do things right and have a lot of good pieces to make it happen. But the way I see it is why become part of a legacy when you can build your own? That was my take on it and that was the line that stuck in my head throughout this whole process. That was one of the key factors of me choosing Jacksonville.”