Bears sign Manumaleuna to 5-year deal

Updated: March 5, 2010, 6:13 PM ET
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Former San Diego Chargers tight end Brandon Manumaleuna has signed a five-year contract with the Chicago Bears.

The 30-year-old veteran, who played for Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz in St. Louis, is known primarily for his blocking ability.

"[Reuniting with Martz] was a big reason," Manumaleuna said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I'm familiar with coach [Lovie] Smith. It just seemed like a good fit.

"I just know [Smith] as a good guy, real knowledgeable about the game. So far he's been pretty successful."

Adding another tight end to the mix may force the Bears to trim a member of the current group. However, Desmond Clark will pick up a $475,000 bonus for being on the 80-man roster Friday, so if the Bears were going to release Clark, it stands to reason the move would have occurred before the start of the new league year.

Clark, who will be 33 this season, is scheduled to make a modest $1 million, and could earn an additional $25,000 in workout bonuses if he attends 85 percent of the offseason exercises.

A source familiar with the situation said the two-year extension signed by Clark in 2008 was structured to avoid a big pay out in the final year, thus eliminating the temptation to cut the veteran because of an inflated salary.

Clark made the majority of his money in the first year of his new deal.

Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.