Thursday, February 3, 2011
Tommie Harris ponders future
DALLAS -- Chicago Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris, whose future with the team is uncertain, said he won't become a distraction like Albert Haynesworth.
But the comparison might not fit. Haynesworth became a distraction after he received his money from the Washington Redskins.
Harris' problem is whether he'll get a reported $2.5 million bonus before June 1. If the Bears don't want to pay the bonus, they'll cut Harris.
"I'm not a free agent. I'm under contract. How is it a bonus?" Harris said Thursday on "The Afternoon Saloon" on ESPN 1000. "It was earned. It's not a bonus. When I signed the contract, it said he earned this contract. I don't understand the bonus stuff."
Harris, who just finished his seventh season, had fallen out of favor with the Bears and lost his starting job. But he regained it late in the season and turned in a dominating two-sack performance against the Seattle Seahawks in a divisional round playoff win. He only had 1.5 sacks during the regular season and 2.5 last season.
Harris said he wants to stay in Chicago.
"I just want to be where I'm wanted, that's it," Harris said. "I know the fans love me.
"I love my coaching staff. I get along with them. I respect them. And I love my teammates."
Harris would neither recognize the bonus nor the decision the Bears must make.
"Every day I've been here, Tommie's been here," coach Lovie Smith said recently. "I don't see why we would say he wouldn't be here.
"I'd say that about the rest of our guys. I saw improvement the last few games from Tommie. We've all done some good things at the end, but just looking at [the NFC Championship Game loss to the Green Bay Packers], of course you can't be too excited."