11:29am: Garza’s contract includes a $100K signing bonus and $75K workout bonus, tweets Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.
11:14am: Garza’s new one-year deal will be worth $1.5MM, according to ESPN.com’s Michael C. Wright (via Twitter).
11:03am: The Bears have locked up center Roberto Garza before he hits free agency, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Biggs reports (via Twitter) that the team has re-signed Garza to a one-year contract.
Garza, who will turn 35 next month, has started all but two of Chicago’s contests over the last eight seasons, having transitioned from guard to center in 2011. The longtime Bear continued to perform at an above-average level in 2013, ranking 12th overall among 35 qualified centers, including sixth as a pass-blocker, according to Pro Football Focus’ metrics (subscription required).
When I examined the free agent market for centers this week, I ranked Garza near the top of the second tier of available options, writing that his age would likely prevent him from getting more than a short-term deal. It’s not clear how much longer Garza plans to play, but head coach Marc Trestman suggested last week that the former fourth-round pick should finish his career as a Bear. I imagine if Garza continues to play well in 2014 and wants to play another season, the team will be very open to re-signing him again a year from now.
Financial details for the one-year agreement aren’t yet known.