Lovie Smith's new contract is going to have to wait.
Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery told the media on Wednesday that contract talks between the Bears and Smith will wait until after the 2012 season concludes. Smith's current contract expires after the 2013 season.
"Again, I said this at the beginning of camp: My preference is to do these things at the end of the year," he said. "There may be a situation where it's to the club's advantage and the player's advantage to do something during the season. But my preference, and most often that's better, (is) to wait until the end of the year until you have a full evaluation. ... That applies not only to our players, but to our head coach and our coaching staff."
Smith's Bears are currently tied with the Minnesota Vikings (4-1) for first place in the NFC North.
Smith has been Chicago's head coach since 2004, and has a 75-58 record. Smith has led the Bears to three playoff appearances in that span, including an appearance in Super Bowl XLI.