Lance Briggs is in the middle of the six-year, $36 million contract he signed in 2008. Briggs still has three years left on a contract that has paid him $21.6 million. He is scheduled to make $3.9 million this year, $4 million next year and $6.5 million in 2013, the final year of the deal. Briggs has outplayed his contract and wants to get paid or be traded.
Yesterday, in talking to reporters, Briggs said:
“It was necessary. This wasn’t the first time that I contacted the Bears. I contacted the Bears after the season. Obviously you have a lockout, you can’t contact teams during that period of time.
“On the business side, if the organization, if management says that they’re not willing to talk about my deal or are willing to deal with my deal now or during the season or during the end of the season or next year, then I know that my days here are numbered.
“The main ingredient here based off of my decision is to get something or have management that’s willing to even talk.
“If I play at ‘X’ amount of money and then this year I’m asked to play for half of that, my play doesn’t decrease, right? So I have every right to go in and ask—and ask—for a raise or in this case ask to at least flip the years. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that.
“What we’re trying to do is creatively think of some way, any way, whether it be this year, next year or some moving into the future. [But] there’s no negotiating. So I had to make a decision.
“I don’t expect management to do that. It’s nothing personal. I understand the business, and that’s the business side. It’s ugly. That’s the way it goes. I’m going to go out here and I’m going to play football, and as long as I’m a Bear I’m going to give it my all.
“If I under-perform, owners will cut me. They have the right to cut me at any time. They can cut me right before I’m supposed to get a bonus, a bonus in March. So for a player, we have every right to ask for a renegotiation, to ask for a trade or to hold out.”
Later in the evening, during the live radio broadcast of Bears Insider at the Walter Payton Center, Jerry Angelo said he does understand where Briggs is coming from and will address the issue after the season. As far as Briggs losing focus during the season, Angelo and Lovie Smith are confident that Briggs will not lose focus.
Courtesy of ChicagoBears.com.