View Full Version : Bears | Briggs says he's done in Chicago

03-12-2007, 08:19 PM
Bears | Briggs says he's done in Chicago
Mon, 12 Mar 2007 15:12:20 -0800
Jay Glazer (http://www.kffl.com/link/14), of FOXSports.com (http://www.kffl.com/link/189), reports Chicago Bears (http://www.kffl.com/team/11/nfl) LB Lance Briggs (http://www.kffl.com/player/6081/nfl), who is the team's franchise player, said he is prepared to sit out the 2007 season if the Bears (http://www.kffl.com/team/11/nfl) do not trade or release him. He went on to say he's played his last down for the team and will never play in Chicago again.

03-12-2007, 08:24 PM
More on story;

Jay Glazer of FOXSports.com reports that Bears linebacker Lance Briggs has vowed to never play again for the Chicago Bears.

"I am now prepared to sit out the year if the Bears don't trade me or release me," Briggs told Glazer. "I've played my last snap for them. I'll never play another down for Chicago again."

Though one of the primary reasons for the decisions is the team's refusal to try to sign him to a long-term deal, Briggs also said that he's ready to step out of the shadows of middle linebacker Brian Urlacher and be "the guy" somewhere else.

"I've talked to Brian about it," said Briggs. "I'm a competitor and I want the same thing he has. I've learned a lot from Brian as a player and a leader and I eventually want to be 'the man' somewhere. I want to be like him and have everything put on me too. Obviously I'll never be able to do that there."

If Briggs sits out the entire season, his rights will remain with the Bears, and they will be able to slap the franchise on him again.

Our take? Briggs is trying to create sufficient acrimony in the relationship so that the Bears will decide that it makes no sense to hold onto his rights -- and thus work out a trade. The problem is that, by going public with his intent to never play for the Bears again, the team necessarily has less leverage for a trade.

03-13-2007, 10:25 PM
A day after telling Jay Glazer of FOXSports.com that he will never play for the Bears again, linebacker Lance Briggs is softening. A little.
On Tuesday, Briggs told ESPN that "there are a lot of options out there, but [sitting out] is one of them (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2796645)."
In essence, Briggs' beef is that, at a time when he could be reeling in $20 million or more in guaranteed money, he'll have to play in 2007 for roughly a third of that amount.
"The $7.2 million -- although it's a good number, it looks nice -- there's no job security in it," Briggs told ESPN. "I played four years as a third-round draft pick. I played four years as a third-round draft pick at the league minimum, and there've been no talks of a contract negotiation this year. . . . In my opinion, there is no intention on a long-term deal here.
"And if you don't have me in your plans for the long term, then I don't want to be here."
The reality here is that the Bears are dumping the injury risk onto Briggs. If in 2007 he suffers a torn ACL or a ruptured Achilles' tendon or some type of a career-ending boo-boo, the Bears will have saved $14 million.
If Briggs gets through 2007 unscathed, the Bears can tie up him again, at a salary of $8.64 million. If he gets hurt, the total savings are $6 million or so.
The price tag rises considerably in year three, when the franchise tender (per the new CBA) is the average of the five highest-paid players in the NFL, regardless of position. (This is commonly referred to in league circles as the "quarterback money" year, since the highest-paid players in the NFL usually are the elite quarterbacks.)
Other players have played the franchise game to perfection. Seahawks tackle Walter Jones, for example, collected three years of franchise money before signing a long-term deal, which paid in the first three years another big chunk of money.
But all it takes is that one wrong move at the wrong time, and the player suddenly has far less value.
Briggs clearly wants his $20 million payday. And if he's not going to get it from the Bears, he wants it from someone else.

03-13-2007, 10:39 PM
I was going to say it would be nice to have this guy on our team... but I don't want the headache.

03-13-2007, 10:44 PM
I was going to say it would be nice to have this guy on our team... but I don't want the headache.

And I think he is way out of our price range this year.

03-13-2007, 10:45 PM
He's a J.A.

03-13-2007, 11:27 PM
Lets trade for him........
He wants to be the "man", and I say lets give him a chance......hes young and hes good

03-14-2007, 02:33 PM
Picking up a media blitz
Briggs not having a lot of success making his case on contract

March 14, 2007
As a public-relations man, Lance Briggs is one heck of a linebacker. Listening to him sledgehammer his case against the evil Bears and their sinister use of the franchise tag, you almost feel sorry for him.

First, Briggs had to make his complaints not once but three times in the last two weeks because the Thomas Jones trade that went down on the same day robbed him of any impact the first time.

Second, he somehow has managed to portray himself as poster boy of the greedy, selfish, mercenary modern athlete whose stomach turns at an utterly indigestible one-year, multimillion-dollar figure that most of his fans never will see in a lifetime. One suspects it's fame as much as money that drives his desire to leave Chicago and the long shadow cast by friend and teammate Brian Urlacher.

Third, the carnival continued Tuesday when he pleaded his case during an eight-minute interview on ''SportsCenter.''

He needs some help
What is missing here? Briggs ought to hire someone to manage his message, clarify his argument, maybe limit the damage a bit by taking some of the heat. The guy needs a representative of some kind. An agent, if you will.

Where is Briggs' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, in all of this?

Next question.

Not that Rosenhaus is a master of PR, given his front-lawn chat with the media during the Terrell Owens debacle in Philadelphia. But surely he sees the illogic to Briggs' threat that he's prepared to sit out the season rather than play for the Bears.

Here's a tip to anyone eager to play contract kamikaze: Don't claim you will take out loans in lieu of making 10 times more than you've ever made. And don't expect fans to feel sorry for you that the home team is going to give you only $7.2 million for one season. Briggs needs an adviser to remind him of an important rule of negotiating: Never push a losing argument to the end.

In going to the national media with his complaints against the Bears, Briggs is effectively following the lead of coach Lovie Smith, whose agent, Frank Bauer, did the same thing to speed the completion of Smith's deal. Smith, at least, had the good sense to maintain a dignified distance and let his agent do the dirty work. But it's a bold tactic that no doubt will be repeated if it works for Briggs after working for Smith.

It's unlucky for Briggs that the Bears have chosen to use the franchise tag for the first time in their history. The same increase in salary-cap space that has blessed mediocre talent with untold riches allows the Bears to keep Briggs off the open market.

Not a position of strength
The franchise tag was created more than a dozen years ago to allow teams to keep a once-in-a-lifetime talent under the free-agent system. Have the Bears abused the system by putting the tag on Briggs? That seems to be his argument when he says, correctly, that they are using it to keep him for one season, rather than signing him to a long-term deal. Maybe it is dirty pool, but it's perfectly within the rules, and every team operates the same way.

The Bears have all the leverage here. The bizarre notion that Briggs would decline to sign the tender on the franchise tag and sit out a season simply extends the clock on his availability for the franchise tag. New rules limit the use of the franchise tag on the same player to two seasons at the average of the top five salaries at his position. A team could extend it for a third year at an average of the top five salaries in the league. That's quarterback money.

If Briggs doesn't sign the tender offer this year and sits out, the Bears could tender him in 2008 and 2009 for the average of the top five linebacker salaries.

Can Briggs play hardball and force a trade? Here's where the Bears have to be careful. They appeared to give in to another Rosenhaus client when they moved Jones to the New York Jets, even if that was done to clear the way for Cedric Benson. They also still have to worry about signing Rosenhaus client Tommie Harris to a contract extension.

There are bound to be other players in the locker room who want raises after a successful season and big-money deals signed by lesser talent in the free-agent market. The entire offseason has been a weird exercise in the fragility of team chemistry.

Has success ruined the Bears? Imagine how difficult things would be if they actually had won the Super Bowl.

03-15-2007, 02:10 PM
Mr. Briggs meet Mr. Merryweather(sp). ;)