Bears, Briggs Agree On Extension
By Chuck Sudo in News on Apr 11, 2012 9:15PM
Before the Bears 2011 season began linebacker Lance Briggs, unhappy with his contract, said "I'm a Bear until I'm not a Bear."
Briggs and the team agreed to a one year extension today that will keep the All-Pro a Bear until 2014. Or until another outside linebacker gets paid money and Briggs starts saying he's a Bear until he isn't a Bear again. For what it's worth now, Briggs said all the right things and expressed a wish to retire in Chicago.
"My dream is to retire a Bear. And I know that I will retire a Bear," Briggs said in a conference call Wednesday. "I'm just excited. I'm so juiced that everything happened fast, and I can prepare for a championship year."
Pro Football Talk reported Briggs will receive an extra $2.25 million in 2012, a $1 million roster bonus in 2013, a non-guaranteed base salary of $4.75 million and a $500,000 roster bonus in 2014. Briggs was looking for a raise above the $3.65 million and $3.75 million base salaries he was set to earn in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Bears General Manager Phil Emery praised the extension and Briggs' status as a foundation of the team defense.
"Lance has been a very valuable and productive member of our team; seven straight Pro Bowls is quite a record of success. This is a very positive step for our team in our efforts to win championships."
Briggs took the opportunity to get a dig in at former GM Jerry Angelo.
""There were some times it was kind of difficult dealing with (Angelo), but at the end of the year we had some open talks with Jerry," Briggs said. "He voiced that my contract was something that needed to be addressed. It just so happened that he got fired the very next morning."
Briggs said his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, began discussions on an extension during the NFL combine and waited to see how the free agency period played out before discussing numbers with the team.
One wonders how running back Matt Forte is taking the news, as he has yet to sign his franchise tag tender offer. His last Twitter update, from five days ago, was to promote his participation in PopChips' "Game Changers" promotion.