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On Thursday, the Chicago Bears announced the signing of defensive tackle Andrew Billings to a two-year contract extension. The contract will go through the 2025 season.

Billings explained why he's excited to be sticking around: "One, because they appreciate me and two, because I see a future here -- not only for myself but also for the team."

"It feels good that somebody appreciates you and that you're doing a good enough job that they want you around a little longer," Billings added. "That always feels good."

Bears players and coaches view Billings as an "unsung hero" on the team's defense.

"We're extremely excited to be able to keep Andrew in Chicago," general manager Ryan Poles said. "The professionalism, dependability and toughness he brings exhibit the type of player we want in our organization."

Bears manager of football administration and pro scout James Cosh said not everything Billings does will be seen on a stat sheet, but said he is a playmaker on the team, calling the defensive tackle "disruptive" and "consistent."

"He gets out there and the first play he's in the backfield, he [helps] with a tackle for loss," Cosh said. "You're like, 'Man off the bat, he's making an impact.' With a lot of guys you have to wait, but he does it right away."

The 2023 season is Billings' seventh in the league. He has bounced around the NFL, starting with the Cincinnati Bengals when they took him in the fourth round (No. 122 overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft. After four seasons in Cinci, he spent two years with the Cleveland Browns. In 2021, he was on the practice squad of the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs. He played for the Las Vegas Raiders in 2022 before signing with the Bears this offseason.

In his career, he has 134 tackles and 4.5 sacks. 

The Bears are currently 2-6 and in last place in the NFC North. Chicago's next game is Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.