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If the Bears were waiting to get a contract offer to tight end Cole Kmet or he was waiting to decide on signing, there could be a path out there to follow.

It might not be as direct of correlation as the position says, but Jacksonville tight end Evan Engram agreed to a contract extension on Sunday according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The deal for $41.25 million over three years is really two years added onto the franchise tag money of $14.95 million, Rappoport reported. 

It came a day before the franchise tag deadline for teams and players to get a deal done. If they don't agree, then the player must stay at the franchise amount the rest of the year.

Engram isn't necessarily a close comparison to follow to determine money for Kmet.

For one, he's hbeen in the NFL six seasons and has 335 receptions and 20 touchdowns. This is Kmet's fourth season.

Also, he was already a franchise player. Kmet would have another full season before he can even be given a tag.

Engram really doesn't even play the same position as Kmet, although it's called tight end. He's playing the U-tight end or move-tight end the way Trey Burton did in Chicago briefly, while Kmet is playing the Y-tight end or in-line tight end. Blocking is much bigger for Kmet than it is for the U-tight ends.

The contract value of $41.25 million for Engram ranks ninth in the league, but the $13.75 million average annual amount is sixth largest according to

Darren Waller has the tight end deal with the biggest annual value at $17 million, followed by George Kittle at $15 million and Travis Kelce at $14.3 million.

Starting his fourth year, Kmet has had nice catch totals the last two seasons. He had 60 in 2021 and 50 last year, and last year started producing touchdowns with seven of his career total of nine. However, as the Y-tight end he's not going to be targeted as much downfield like Engram or some U-tight ends would.

Last year Kmet was graded by Pro Football Focus as ninth-best run blocker among tight ends in the NFL. Engram was 17 spots below him.

Engram was 20th best receiver among tight ends according to PFF, and Kmet was 29th.

"Obviously you hope that happens," Kmet said about a contract during Bears off-season work. "You wanna maybe get it done. But like I said, at this point, I kinda let my agents handle that deal."

Kmet isn't the only Bears player up for a contract extension. Wide receivers Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool need new deals. And cornerback Jaylon Johnson does, as well.

In Johnson's case, it should be easier now. He didn't have an agent when he spoke with media during off-season work at Halas Hall, but in the past week Family for Life Agency announced it would represent Johnson now.

Where this leads isn't certain, but Bears GM Ryan Poles had complained about lack of representation as being a problem when Roquan Smith was seeking a new Bears deal last off-season.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven