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Bears TE Cole Kmet agrees to four-year, $50 million contract extension

The Chicago Bears have locked down a key member of their offense ahead of training camp practices.

The Bears agreed to terms with tight end Cole Kmet on a four-year, $50 million extension with $32 million guaranteed, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday, per a source informed of the pact.

The team later confirmed Kmet's extension, which was first reported by ESPN.

It marks the first extension handed out by general manager Ryan Poles, who enters his second season leading the club.

"It's unbelievable. It's life-changing stuff," Kmet told reporters Wednesday of his new deal. "Honored to be here, honored that they felt I was a guy worthy of this, and ready to get going and prove these guys right and really play beyond what the contract value is, in my opinion. That's what I want to do and show that they made the right decision."

A second-round pick out of Notre Dame in 2020, Kmet was set to enter the final year of his rookie contract with a $2.993 million base salary. The 24-year-old instead got a big pay raise.

The $12.5 million new-money average ranks tied for ninth at the position with Patriots' Hunter Henry. The $32 million guaranteed leapfrogs Dawson Knox for fourth-most among TEs not playing on a rookie deal.

It's a strong contract for Kmet that underscores the team's belief he'll continue to develop into a crucial part of the offense.

The TE has never breached the 625-yard receiving mark in three seasons, but he's improved his play each campaign. In 2022, Kmet generated 544 yards on 50 catches with a career-high seven TDs (after not scoring in 2021).

The Bears improved their weaponry for Justin Fields this offseason, trading for D.J. Moore and signing tight end Robert Tonyan to pair with Kmet. Wednesday's news builds on that foundation ahead of a pivotal season for the offense in the Windy City.

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