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Briggs to Bears: Rescind the tag or trade me

Discussion in 'All Other Team Discussions' started by fvre4mvp, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. fvre4mvp

    fvre4mvp Cheesehead

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    Under the right circumstances, two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs could play his entire career with the Chicago Bears, and be a happy man.
    Under the restrictive terms of the franchise designation with which the Bears have marked him, though, and with the defending NFC champions apparently offering him nothing more than the one-year option it entails, Briggs said Sunday evening that he doesn't want to play another day for the club that brought him into the league in 2003.

    "There's a difference between the Chicago Bears team and the Chicago Bears organization," Briggs told ESPN.com, when reached Sunday evening at his home in suburban Chicago. "The Chicago Bears team? The coaches, players, city and fans? Yeah, I could stay there forever. I love it. But the Chicago Bears organization? I don't want to be there anymore. I won't play for them and I'll do everything in my power to keep from playing there."

    In a 30-minute conversation by phone, Briggs -- distressed by the restrictions of the NFL franchise tag, by his inability to shop himself in the free agent market, and by the recent departure of defensive coordinator Ron Rivera -- offered his first insights into his current situation.

    And he offered, Briggs said, what is the only truly viable solution to an untenable circumstance.

    "They need to either [rescind] the franchise tag, and let me move on, or trade me to another team," Briggs said. "Because that's about the only way this thing can have any kind of a positive resolution."

    Having failed last spring to consummate a long-term contract with Briggs -- reportedly a six-year, $33 million deal on which both sides worked for several weeks before the negotiations collapsed -- the Bears employed the franchise tag last week to keep the four-year veteran off the open market.

    It marked the first time under the stewardship of general manager Jerry Angelo, who in the past has acknowledged the potential acrimony that accompanies the franchise marker, the Bears have used the restriction.

    The qualifying offer for a franchise linebacker is $7.206 million, the average of the top five highest paid players at the position. But only three days into free agency, top defenders such as cornerback Nate Clements (with San Francisco), edge rusher Adalius Thomas (New England) and middle linebacker London Fletcher-Baker (Washington) have signed lucrative contracts with new teams.

    Sitting at home, watching the free agency parade pass him by, Briggs became, he acknowledged, increasingly frustrated by his lot. And not just, he emphasized, by the financial implications of the situation.

    "You hate to get into that whole 'lack of respect' thing," Briggs said. "But you play four years for a team, do your best, exceed their expectations, right? And every year, it's like, 'You played great, Lance.' And they kind of dangle the carrot, like they're going to take care of you, and then it doesn't happen. I mean, I was a middle-round pick and I've played well for them. Four years and at just middle-round salaries. I haven't caused any kinds of problems. I've done everything they asked and them some. And I don't know if I ever really knew where I stood with them until they put the tag on me."

    A former Arizona standout, Briggs was chosen by the Bears in the third round of the 2003 draft. He earned a starting job as a rookie, emerged by his third seasons as one of the NFL's top young weakside 'backers, and was chosen for the Pro Bowl in each of the past two seasons.

    Even playing in the lengthy shadow of middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, with whom he has become close friends, Briggs is regarded leaguewide as a top defender and playmaker.

    He did sit out the voluntary portion of the team's offseason workouts last spring, it should be noted, but reported for the mandatory workouts and was in training camp on time.

    There is little doubt that if Briggs was in the unrestricted pool right now, he would be a coveted player. But the Bears seem inclined to force him to play for the one-year franchise offer and there have been no discussions on a long-term deal since last spring. Under the current rules, Chicago has until July 16 to sign Briggs to a longer deal or he must play 2007 for the franchise number.

    Which is something, Briggs said Sunday night, he won't do.

    "It's a great bunch of guys with a great future, but I can't see myself as being part of that future anymore," Briggs said. "Whatever options are available to me, I'll take advantage of them. But going back and playing for the Bears again, no, I don't see that as an option. Not one more day. Not at all."
     
  2. PackerLegend

    PackerLegend Cheesehead

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    Good lunk S**tcago have fun with this haha!



    BRIGGS WANTS OUT OF CHICAGO

    Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, apparently frustrated by all the millions of dollars that guys not named Lance Briggs are getting on the open market, wants out of Chicago.

    "There's a difference between the Chicago Bears team and the Chicago Bears organization," Briggs told ESPN.com. "The Chicago Bears team? The coaches, players, city and fans? Yeah, I could stay there forever. I love it. But the Chicago Bears organization? I don't want to be there anymore. I won't play for them and I'll do everything in my power to keep from playing there."

    Briggs is currently limited by the franchise tag. Though he's free to sign an offer sheet with a new team, the Bears would have the right to either match the deal or to receive two first-round draft picks as compensation. And the days of any player being worth two first-rounders ended with Keyshawn Johnson, Joey Galloway, and Sean Gilbert.

    Specifically, Briggs wants to be traded, or he wants the team to withdraw the franchise tag and allow him to shop his wares without a new suitor being forced to compensate the Bears. The former is a possibility; the latter would only happen if Briggs gets hit by a bus.

    So his options are limited. Since he's not under contract until he signs the one-year, $7.2 million tender, he has no obligation to attend any voluntary or mandatory offseason activities. In fact, he can stay away from training camp and all of the preseason and still earn the full amount of the one-year salary if he signs the tender offer on the eve of the regular season. The only risk he's taking is that the Bears can rescind the tag once everyone else has spent all of their money. Or if he's hit by a bus.

    Briggs also can show up in Week Ten and earn a prorated salary and try to get to the market again in 2008. But then the Bears could franchise him again. And then he could stay away until Week Ten again. The third time around, the Bears would be required to offer him the average salary of the top five players regardless of position in order to continue to hold his rights.

    We'd previously heard that the Bears are shopping Briggs. But whoever wants him has to work out a deal with the team, and a deal with the player. Given the contract signed by Adalius Thomas with the Pats, it's safe to say that Briggs will be looking for at least $20 million in guaranteed money, if not more.


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  3. all about da packers

    all about da packers Cheesehead

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    I'm literally LMAO here.

    :evil:
     
  4. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    7 million to play FOOTBALL next year, and he's crying in his BEAR.....i mean BEER!
    Geez..........how can i feel sorry for a guy that will make more money in ONE year then i could make working my *** off for the next 140 years?!?!?
    Pardon me if i don't get all teary eyed for ol' Briggs!
     
  5. 4thand26

    4thand26 Cheesehead

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    this is just how the system works. GB should know as well as anyone. I can't blame him. Other people have held out and had it work. If he plays for the 1 year and blows out a knee, it will cost him 10's of millions of dollars.

    Yes, he did sign the contract, and I wish that was the end of the story. But it is not, so i can hardly blame Briggs. As a bear fan, I hope that they can either trade him for a good value, or make him sit, or, of course, have him play for the 1 year.
     
  6. nathaniel

    nathaniel Cheesehead

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    Who have the Packers used the Franchise tag on in the recent past?
     
  7. 4thand26

    4thand26 Cheesehead

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    Typically the Franchise Tag is only used on good players.
     
  8. bavpb

    bavpb Cheesehead

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    I always thought that good players get high paid long-term-contracts. :wink: :LOL:
     
  9. jthill

    jthill Cheesehead

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    roflmao :rotflmao:
     
  10. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    roflmao :rotflmao:
     

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