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Griese reaches five-year deal with Bears

CHICAGO -- Brian Griese agreed to a five-year deal with the
Chicago Bears on Tuesday, adding depth at quarterback and a potential challenger to starter Rex Grossman.

"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 $2.6 million roster bonus.

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

Cindrich said Griese passed physicals with the Bears, Cincinnati
and Tampa Bay, and "he'll be ready to go" in time for minicamp.
Cindrich, who would not reveal the financial terms of the deal,
said the contract will likely be signed on Wednesday.

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

Cindrich said the Bears made no promises

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