The Bears on Friday signed nose tackle Eddie Goldman to a four-year contract extension through the 2022 season.
Selected by the Bears in the second round of the 2015 draft out of Florida State, Goldman has appeared in 36 games with 32 starts over three seasons, recording 84 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 15 quarterback hurries, 10 tackles-for-loss and one fumble recovery. His rookie contract was set to expire after the 2018 season.
"This is a key extension for the future of the Bears and an anchor for our defense," said general manager Ryan Pace. "We are excited to be able to reward one of our own in Eddie Goldman. We put pride in drafting and developing players and Eddie has put the work in every day to earn this opportunity."
In 2015, Goldman was named to the Pro Football Writers Association All-Rookie Team after registering 39 tackles and 4.5 sacks. After injuries limited him to six games in 2016, Goldman rebounded to start 15 contests last year, compiling a career-high 43 tackles, 1.5 sacks and one fumble recovery.
"We're excited for him, we're excited for us," said coach Matt Nagy. "Any time you get an opportunity to draft a player within and reward them … he's worked hard to get to this point and it's always an exciting time for that."
The true value of a top nose tackle is rarely reflected in statistics. But the Bears know how critical Goldman is to their success on defense.
"He does everything the right way," Nagy said. "He's very, very consistent. He does what he does. He's somewhat of an introverted guy. But he's not introverted on the field. He's just a very important part of this puzzle on defense and we recognize that.
"When that's the case, you want to make sure you take care of your own. He's one of ours. I think the best part of this whole story for him and for us is that we're able to get that done and now you build on that."
Goldman told reporters that contracts talks had been taking place for about six months.
"It's definitely like a weight lifted off my shoulders," Goldman said. "Your mind can be cleared and you're ready to get Week 1 over with."
Goldman is excited to be part of a talented front seven with the Bears that also includes tackle Akiem Hicks, end Jonathan Bullard, inside linebackers Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith, and outside linebackers Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd.
"I think the oldest guy is like 28, 29, so a lot of guys could be here for a long time and hopefully build a legacy that we hope to remember," Goldman said.