Chicago Bears give NT Goldman $42-million, 4-year extension
LAKE FOREST — The Bears locked up another key component of their No. 10 defense by signing NT Eddie Goldman to a four-year contract extension for $42 million, which includes $25 million in guaranteed money.
“This is a key extension for the future of the Bears and an anchor for our defense,” Bears G.M. Ryan Pace. “We are excited to be able to reward one of our own in Eddie. We put pride in drafting and developing players, and Eddie has put the work in every day to earn this opportunity.”
The 6-foot-4, 320-pound Goldman, who was a second round pick (39th overall) in 2015, has started 32 games, including 15 last year, when his 44 tackles were second to Akiem Hicks among Bears linemen.
Goldman said he briefly considered the possibility of playing out his contract in search of even greater riches in free agency next offseason, “But mainly I was just focusing on getting a deal done (here). It’s definitely like a weight lifted off your shoulders, and now your mind can be clear.”
Goldman’s new contract places him near the top of the league among nose tackles, up there with Baltimore’s Brandon Williams, who signed a five-year, $52.5 million deal ($33.75 million guaranteed) in 2017.
Goldman maintains a low-key personae but his approach to the game is exemplary, according to coach Matt Nagy. Though he had a career-best 4.5 sacks as a rookie, Goldman’s most valuable skills are the ability to anchor the middle against the run, even when double-teamed; and his ability to occupy blockers, which creates opportunities for teammates.
“He does everything the right way,” Nagy said. “He’s very, very consistent. He’s somewhat of an introverted guy, but he’s not introverted on the field. He’s just a very big part of the puzzle on defense. We recognize that, and so, when that’s the case, you want to make sure you take care of your own. He’s one of ours, and that’s the best part of this whole story is we’re able to get that done, and now you build on that.
“He’s worked hard to get to this point. We’re really excited for him personally, and then we as a team are pumped up, too, so that’s great.”
Pace had expressed optimism about a potential extension for Goldman, even after the team gave three-time Pro Bowl OLB Khalil Mack a $141-million, six-year extension after trading for him Sept. 1. Goldman’s signing is just another example of building upon an already stout defense that should have some staying power. The Bears were No. 9 in points allowed last year and seventh in sack percentage.
With Goldman, who is just 24, and Mack, 27, both under contract through the 2022 season, it sets the Bears up for continued defensive success under coordinator Vic Fangio.
Not only have the Bears secured the heart of their defense, they’ve reinvested in players who are still young and could have their best football ahead of them.
DL Akiem Hicks (28) is under contract through the 2021 season. OLB Leonard Floyd (25) has two years left on his rookie contract after this season, if the Bears exercise the fifth-year option, and ILB Roquan Smith, the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft, recently signed his four-year deal that includes a team option for a fifth year.
CBs Kyle Fuller (26) and Prince Amukamara (29) both signed new contracts in the offseason. Fuller got $56 million over four years, so he’s under control through 2021, while Amukamara is signed through 2020 after agreeing to a three-year, $27-million deal.
“That’s definitely going to be key,” Goldman said of the youth and stability of the group. “I think the oldest guy is like 28, 29, so a lot of guys can be here for a long time, and hopefully build a legacy that we hope to remember.”