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updated: 7/27/2011 10:39 AM

Bears sign draft picks Enderle, Thomas

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  • Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle has signed a four-year contract with the Bears, who picked him in the fifth-round of the April's NFL Draft.

      Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle has signed a four-year contract with the Bears, who picked him in the fifth-round of the April's NFL Draft.
    Associated Press

 
 

As usual, Bears chief contract negotiator Cliff Stein is off to a fast start, with two key draft picks agreeing to deals on Wednesday.

Fifth-round quarterback Nathan Enderle and sixth-round linebacker J.T. Thomas have accepted four-year deals from the Bears. According to Internet reports, Enderle's deal is for $2.2 million and includes a $170,000 signing bonus.

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The Bears are one of the first teams each season to have all their draft picks signed and in camp on time.

In April, immediately following the draft, Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz expressed optimism that the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Enderle could challenge veteran Caleb Hanie for the No. 2 job behind Jay Cutler. Enderle was a four-year starter at Idaho, who had 44-25 TD-to-interception ratio in his final two seasons.

Thomas finds himself in an advantageous situation, considering the Bears currently have just two veteran linebackers -- Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs -- under contract. But negotiations also are well under way with unrestricted free agent Nick Roach, who has started 30 games for the Bears in the past three seasons.

• Bob LeGere will have more on the Bears later today. You can follow his reports via Twitter@BobLeGere, and check out his Bear Essentials blog at dailyherald.com.

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