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Briggs Speaks

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Oct 11, 2007 12:36PM

2007_10_sports_briggs.jpgBears linebacker Lance Briggs finally spoke with the media yesterday, after being compelled to do so by the NFL. Since training camp began in late July, his three-minute statement to the press after wrecking his Lamborghini was the only time he’d talked.

While forced to talk with reporters, he didn't settle for canned cliches or vague statements -- there was real news contained in his words.

We all remember, during the off-season, when Briggs felt dissed when the team placed the "franchise" tag on him and he claimed he'd never again play for the Bears. Briggs threatened to hold out the entire 2007 season if need be. Ultimately, the lure of $7.2 million and a promise not to "franchise" him again got Briggs to sign and suit up.

So the 2007 season was Briggs' last hurrah in a Bears uni -- right? Not so fast! In yesterday's media session he left the door open to a return to the team, "No matter what was said in the offseason, when you go out and you play and you prove to them that regardless of what happened ... you're here proving that you want to be here.'' That's what he meant, right? When asked directly if he'd return if given a long-term deal, he replied, "Absolutely."

With his performance on the field -- he's only 4 tackles behind Brian Urlacher despite missing a game with an injury -- he's making it awfully hard for the Bears to justify not including him in their long-term plans. He'll be costly, for sure. But can they afford to let him walk?

Photo by AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh