Charles Leno Jr., Chicago Bears Agree to 4-Year Contract Extension

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2017

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 22: Charles Leno #72 of the Chicago Bears particiaptes in warm-ups before a game against the Denver Broncos at Soldier Field on November 22, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Broncos defeated the Bears 17-15.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears announced they have rewarded offensive tackle Charles Leno Jr. with a four-year contract extension leading into the 2017 regular season.

Per NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, Leno's extension with the Bears will pay him up to $38 million over four years with $21.5 million in guaranteed money. 

Leno has been a pleasant surprise for the Bears since being a seventh-round draft pick in 2014. He appeared in six games as a rookie before appearing in every game at left tackle in 2015.

The Bears made Leno their starting left tackle last season. The former Boise State standout rewarded that confidence by starting all 16 games. John Gatta of Pro Football Focus noted Leno was the NFL's fifth-most improved offensive tackle from 2015-16. 

As the Bears prepare for their future with rookie Mitchell Trubisky eventually taking over as the starting quarterback, having a strong left tackle who can protect his blind side will help his ability to develop his talents. 

Leno played his way into the Bears' starting lineup, making it an easy choice for the franchise to invest in him as a cornerstone piece on the offensive line.