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Bears, DT Walker agree on five-year deal

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (July 31, 2007) -- The Chicago Bears and defensive tackle Darwin Walker agreed to a five-year contract two days after the team acquired him in a trade with Buffalo.

"This is great, and I'm just excited to be a Bear," Walker said after practice. "And I look forward to trying to get to the Super Bowl."

Buffalo had obtained Walker from Philadelphia in March for linebacker Takeo Spikes and backup quarterback Kelly Holcomb.

Walker, however, refused to report to the Bills until the team renegotiated the remaining two years on his contract. Walker would have taken a one-year deal with the Bears. Instead, he's signed through 2011.

"We'd have just taken a one-year deal and done what we had to do," Walker said. "Fortunately, the Bears saw it a little different, and we're excited about that."

By acquiring Walker, the defending NFC champions filled a big hole that opened when the team released Tank Johnson following a series of run-ins with the law. They acquired a player with 26½ sacks over the past five years, making him the fourth-most productive defensive tackle during that span.

Walker was interested in joining the Bears when the Eagles allowed him to seek a trade last spring. But Chicago had no room because Johnson was still on the team.

"There was instant love between Darwin and the Bears," agent Albert Irby said. "Darwin said, 'Look, just get the deal done.' Now, he's excited about being a Bear. The Bears are young and tough and they're going to be a competitive team for a long time."

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2007, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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