In securing Massie's services through 2022, the Bears also ensured continuity for their offensive line while keeping a respected player in the locker room.
"Bobby has a tremendous work ethic and has displayed the kind of toughness and consistency we want in our players," Bears general manager Ryan Pace said in a statement. "More importantly, he is a great teammate and we’re excited to keep him in the fold."
Terms of the contract aren't yet clear, but Massie is believed to be in line to make more than $8 million per year, according to NFL Media. In other words, the Bears got a fair rate for one of the top tackles set to hit the open market and in doing so ensured they will return all 11 offensive starters from 2018.
After addressing right tackle, the Bears' greatest offseason priorities are now at safety, nickel cornerback and kicker, plus depth additions throughout the roster. The Bears signed kicker Redford Jones to a reserve/future contract Friday, and he'll have a chance to prove he's better than the embattled Cody Parkey. Pace could still prioritize a veteran kicker on the open market -- perhaps the franchise's all-time leading scorer, Robbie Gould.
What's more likely is the Bears allocate the greatest chunk of their cap space to nickel cornerback Bryce Callahan to retain a key piece of their defense. The Bears know the value of a strong nickel corner in today's NFL, as those individuals are de facto starters.
Callahan's projected market value is assessed at four years and more than $28 million, according to Spotrac. Pace would have to decide whether that's a worthwhile price or if he'd instead prefer to pay Adrian Amos to keep him as a safety tandem with All-Pro Eddie Jackson.
Amos is also slated to hit the open market this March. Last offseason, Pace spoke of exploring long-term deals for Amos and Eddie Goldman. Goldman got paid, while Amos is left to wonder what's next.
"When coaches watch my film, (people) upstairs, they see what I bring to the table as far as communication, athleticism, everything they would want to see. I hope they’ve seen it, but I can’t worry about what they did see because it’s already happened."
Coming off an NFC North title and wild-card round exit, the Bears are in their current situation after careful cap consideration and some strong draft results by Pace's front office. The approach allowed the team to use its financial resources to pay edge rusher Khalil Mack a record six-year, $141-million contract after a blockbuster trade in September.
After having eight players named to the Pro Bowl on Sunday, the Bears feel comfortable knowing that seven from that group -- Mack, Jackson, Akiem Hicks, Kyle Fuller, Mitchell Trubisky, Charles Leno and Tarik Cohen -- are under team control through 2020 or beyond. The outlier is center Cody Whitehair, whose contract is set to expire after 2019 and who could also be in line for a long-term deal.
All eight of the Bears' Pro Bowlers were either drafted or signed to long-term deals by Pace, who now faces the task of maintaining and fortifying the Bears' window of contention. Given the team's present position, every deal counts.
"We’re going to challenge ourselves," Pace said. "We’re always going to be improving this roster. That’s my job, to ensure the roster is always getting better, whatever avenue that is. Whether it’s cap space or draft picks, we’re going to strive to improve this roster in every area."