General manager Ryan Poles spoke with Jeff Joniak Sunday on the Bears pregame radio show on ESPN 1000 AM and 100.3 HD2 FM.
Poles discussed defensive end Montez Sweat and nose tackle Andrew Billings – the two players that signed extensions with the team this week. The Bears traded for Sweat Tuesday then signed him to a four-year extension Saturday ahead of his first game with the club. Poles said getting the contract done prior to the matchup in New Orleans "was one of our goals" so Sweat could "play free."
Poles equated the contract extension talks for Sweat to an interval workout.
"It's intense periods of time and then a lot of quiet time, a lot of thinking, a lot of planning," Poles said. "Then it goes back into an intense time on the phone, working different angles, talking about different parts of the contract, talking about total value, comps. It's very much an interval setup where it's fast-paced, a lot of gas and then it hits the brake and you gotta wait it out. It is stressful, though, and I hope that as I continue to go, it becomes less and less stressful of an operation. But when you have two sides really motivated to get something done, good things usually happen."
Billings joined the Bears this spring on a one-year deal and signed a two-year extension Thursday. Poles expressed his excitement in keeping the veteran defensive tackle in Chicago as he has been key in helping the Bears' run defense this season.
"He's dependable. He's tough. He's everything that we stand for in Chicago," Poles said. "He came in, worked his butt off, got right and has been disruptive for us in the middle and a guy that really makes people around him better as well. He allows our linebackers to run free, make plays and when he has opportunities, he's been able to make some plays in the backfield as well. So we're happy about that."
Listen to the full interview below.