Earl Bennett's emerged as clearly the Bears' best all-around wide receiver this year, and today they rewarded the 24-year-old with a four-year contract extension worth $18 million. The contract includes $9 million guaranteed, and will keep him in a Bears uniform through 2015.

Bennett was going to be a free agent in the offseason, so this was a big move for Jerry Angelo and the Bears to take care of. Bennett's improved constantly in his four-year career, and this deal could look like a bargain down the road. At worst, the Bears are going to have a reliable guy that Jay Cutler feels extremely comfortable throwing to for a while, especially on third down.

Still, this move shouldn't be viewed as the Bears feeling they have the "#1 wide receiver" they've been trying to find. Bennett's the best receiver currently on the roster, but the Bears still need to find a big, physical wide receiver that can provide a nice target for Cutler, particularly in the red zone. While many people doubt how much Angelo cares about the position, I really do think the Bears will try hard(finally) to acquire a "#1" via free agency or the draft(where there are plenty of intriguing prospects... I have visions of Justin Blackmon dancing in my head, but he'd surely take trading up in the draft to acquire).

So, with Bennett extended, this is now the list of Bears players that have contracts expiring: Matt Forte, Corey Graham, Caleb Hanie, Israel Idonije, Tim Jennings, Brandon Meriweather, Amobi Okoye.

While Forte's of course getting the most talk of that group, he's the last player I'm worried about the Bears taking care of. They can still slap the Franchise Tag on him the next two years if a contract extension is not worked out(and I still like the chances of that happening in the offseason). He's going nowhere anytime soon.

But I think they'll try to bring back pretty much everybody else on that list, with the exception of Williams(and maybe Meriweather).

Graham is a special teams stud(he should've made the Pro Bowl last season and very well may this season) that has played tremendously at nickelback in D.J. Moore's absence. The 26-year-old has interceptions in each of the last three games.

Hanie is full of talent across the board, and he's shown glimpses of that in his time as a Bear(like in the second half on Sunday). He should only improve as he seasons his game and improves his decision-making at quarterback. There's no reason for the Bears to give up on him now with how much they've worked to develop him, after signing him as an undrafted free agent out of Colorado State(I went to school with him there actually).

Idonije is a starting defensive end and offers versatility; he's played plenty of defensive tackle as a Bear and has been a key special teams contributor as well. However, he's 31, and the Bears may be reluctant to sign him to an extension of much length.

Jennings is a starting cornerback that has played very well in his two seasons as a Bear. He's a terrific tackler at the position, something the Bears value out of cornerbacks as much as any team in the league. He's not very big, and he doesn't get many interceptions(just two in 27 games as a Bear), but he's fundamentally sound and fits the Bears' Tampa-2 system well. He's unlikely to find another team on the market that will be as interested in his services as much as the Bears are. And the Bears are thin at this position anyway.

Lastly, I think the Bears are very impressed with what Okoye has done lately, and he's still just 24. He has four sacks on the season, which is a terrific number from a defensive tackle. That's especially the case when he's been a backup all season. However, the Bears also have young defensive tackles that they're high on in Henry Melton and Stephen Paea, and veterans Anthony Adams and Matt Toeaina are at the position as well. If Okoye thinks he can start somewhere else and/or get paid more, he may understandably land with another team in free agency.

So, expect the Bears to try to lock up at least a few more players in the coming months.

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