The Chicago Bears reported they had concluded to terms with linebacker Lance Briggs on a 1 year extension that will lock up the veteran until 2014. Football scores
“I’m thankful, just extremely appreciative right now that the work has been recognized and that it got handled as fast as it did.” Briggs related.
New CEO Phil Emery, who replaced Jerry Angelo after the season, viewed it as a positive step. Baseball scores
“We’re really happy for Lance and for the Bears,” Emery recounted in a statement. “Lance has been a particularly valuable and productive member of our team; 7 straight Pro Bowls is quite a record of victory. This is a really positive step for our team in our attempts to win championships.”
Financial terms weren’t instantly on hand. But going into last season Briggs approached the team looking for a raise over the $3.65 million and $3.75 million in base salaries he was set to receive in 2011 and 2012, and demanded a trade if the Bears couldn’t accommodate the request.
“There were some circumstances it was kind of hard dealing with (Angelo), but at the year’s end we had some open talks with Jerry,” Briggs expounded. “He recounted that my contract was something that wanted to be addressed. It just happened that he got fired the very next morning.”
At the time of Briggs’ request, the linebacker’s contract didn’t contain any more warranted cash.
The statement of the extension comes at a time the organization remains stuck in a disagreement over a potential new contract for running back Matt Forte, and as franchise stalwart Brian Urlacher enters the final year of his agreement.
“(Forte is) a grown man, he knows what his value is, and I suspect everyone know what his worth is. I will continue to support and hope he gets the deal he knows he merits.
“He and I are in 2 differing types of circumstance. We’re coping with 2 differing types of cash and 2 different types of agreements. I’m hoping his scenario gets resolved shortly, and I want him to be happy.”
Briggs was initially scheduled to earn $6.25 million in 2013. So it’s quite likely — given that cap room is shrinking — the new contract includes an up front bump in the form of a signing bonus that can be prorated over the following 3 years and would probably aid in reducing his potential cap number.
An eight-year veteran, Briggs, 31 years-old, continues to produce at a high level. Briggs has been named to 7 successive Pro Bowls, and is the 4th linebacker in franchise history — together with Dick Butkus, Bill George and Mike Singletary — to accomplish the feat. Briggs led the team in tackles (147) for the 4th time in his career in 2011, and ranked 3rd in stops for lost yardage (8) in addition to picking off one pass and causing 2 fumbles.
Briggs’ career tackles total is 1,286 to go with 10.5 sacks, 13 interceptions and 14 forced fumbles.
Since entering the NFL in 2003, Briggs leads the league in the “stuffs” category, totaling 65.5 tackles of a rusher for negative yardage.