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Bears, QB Griese agrees on five-year deal

CHICAGO (March 21, 2006) -- Brian Griese agreed to a five-year deal with the Chicago Bears, which added depth behind Rex Grossman at quarterback.

"I don't think there's any question he's going into the position to compete for the job," Griese's agent Ralph Cindrich said. "That was made clear."

The 31-year-old Griese completed 112 of 174 passes for 1,136 yards and led Tampa Bay to a 5-1 start last year before a season-ending knee. The Buccaneers decided to waive him this month rather than pay a roster bonus.

Griese has passed for 16,344 yards and 103 touchdowns in eight seasons with Denver, Miami and Tampa Bay.

The Bears have said they are committed to Grossman as their starter, but Griese has started 72 of 75 games in his career.

After tearing the ACL in his right knee early in the 2004 season, Grossman broke his left ankle in the preseason and missed the first 13 games. Chad Hutchinson flopped, and rookie Kyle Orton began the season as the starting quarterback.

Behind a defense that was ranked No. 1 for much of the season, a strong offensive line and effective running game, the Bears went 11-5 and reached the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

Grossman's numbers -- 20-for-39 passing for 259 yards in two games -- weren't overwhelming, but the passing game opened up when he returned.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2006, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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