J'Marcus Webb has been a topic of frustration during his first three years in the NFL, and it appears he may have been granted a fourth year at a reduced rate. Some sharp-eyed Bears fans noticed on the official NFL.com transaction report website that Webb has signed what is being termed a renegotiated contract.
Webb is in the final year of his four-year rookie year deal and was receiving a hefty bump in pay during the final year of that contract. Webb was slated to make $1.3-million this year up from $490,000 he made a year ago. The question over the past week has been whether or not Webb's demotion to second-team left tackle would put his roster spot in danger, it now seems he may have solidified himself on the roster by showing a willingness to take a pay cut.
The new contract likely represents a reduction in pay for Webb with the promise he'll remain on the roster, although terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Had the Bears chose to cut Webb they would have not have been responsible for the $1.3-million, so this move likely helps him to remain on the roster and gives the Bears perhaps close to $500,000 in salary cap space.
Curiously however the Bears seem to want to have slipped this one under the radar as there has been no official press release regarding Webb's newly renegotiated deal. While some Bears fans may be demanding the head of J-Webb nation on a platter, he still is by far the best swing tackle option left on the roster.
Webb played well in the second preseason game against the San Diego Chargers coming in off the bench as the primary backup left tackle. Webb showed well in both pass protection and as a run blocker showing more fire and desire than he had in week one.
Rookie Jordan Mills played well enough that he will start his second consecutive game at right tackle in the third game dress rehearsal against the Oakland Raiders. Webb will again come off the bench at LT, and is a very solid option as a backup. It's hard to say whether or not he'll be the starter at RT or if he has found his way to the bench, but if there is an injury there is no better option for the Bears to put in.
Webb has improved each of every year in the NFL and has started each and every game he's been in the league. His ability to remain healthy and his overall durability makes him an invaluable part of the offensive line, especially given his two primary competitors haven't played a full NFL season in quite some time.
In other transaction news the Bears signed a new DT in Eric Foster, two new QBs in Trent Edwards and Jordan Palmer and cut wide receiver Jerrell Jackson and defensive end Jamaal Anderson.