The Chicago Bears signed one of next offseason's top free agents and one of Justin Fields' main long-term targets.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Bears have agreed to a four-year, $50 million extension with starting tight end Cole Kmet, who was entering the final year of his rookie contract after leading Chicago in receptions (50), receiving yards (544), and receiving touchdowns (seven) in 2022.
Kmet, a 2020 second-round pick, is general manager Ryan Poles' first major contract extension from the previous regime.
The 24-year-old tight end was Poles' first pick for players with blue-chip potential after the 2022 season, but the second-year decision-maker also praised All-Pro linebacker Roquan Smith and running back David Montgomery, who left the team.
Kmet should continue his Bears breakout in 2023 with his long-term future assured.
With the additions of D.J. Moore, Tyler Scott, and Robert Tonyan Jr., his share of receiving targets may decrease, but he is still one of their best blockers and showed he could be a reliable red-zone target with his career-high seven touchdown grabs last season.