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Thursday, February 17, 2011
BBAO: Will Bears give Lovie Smith a raise?

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

We're Black and Blue All Over:

If Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy's new contract is worth $5 million annually when it is finalized, as reported by Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, then Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith can't expect much of a raise in his impending extension.

That's the conclusion drawn by Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times, who notes Smith is already earning about that total in his current deal, which expires next year. Hayes: "How can Smith claim he is worth more than the coach of the defending Super Bowl champions?"

Coaching salaries are a pretty well-kept secret around the NFL. But according to a recent Forbes.com report, the NFL's highest-paid coaches are Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins, both of whom are at about $7 million annually. Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks is third, at a little over $6 million per year, and Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles is fourth at $5.5 million per year.

It's been more than three weeks since the Bears' season ended with general manager Jerry Angelo confirming he planned to offer Smith an extension. There is no rush on those negotiations, but if Smith is looking for a significant raise, the discussions could take some time.

Continuing around the NFC North: