Lance Briggs wants a new contract
Lance Briggs wants to be paid again.
And if the Chicago Bears don’t step up and give a new contract to the six-time Pro Bowl performer, he’s going to demand a trade after the season.
Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune broke the news that Briggs has been seeking more money from the Bears since training camp opened. The 30-year-old (he turns 31 in November) is about to enter the fourth year of a $36 million, six-year contract he signed as an unrestricted free agent.
The deal was front-loaded and including annual workout bonuses, Briggs can earn a maximum of $14.4 million over the next three seasons. His base salary is $3.65 million this season and climbs to $3.75 million in 2012 before topping out at $6.25 million in 2013. One proposal made was to flip the base salaries so he would earn the bigger money this season. It didn’t happen and while the club hasn’t commented, team officials aren’t happy.
Briggs has seen salaries escalate for linebackers since his contract was done. He believes he’s outperformed his contract and players always want a two-way street when it comes to that because clubs will cut players or demand givebacks from players who underperform.
The Bears reworked Brian Urlacher’s contract at one point, giving him an $18 million, one-year extension when he was unhappy. The difference? Urlacher didn’t reach the open market like Briggs. Plus, Urlacher was more than halfway through a nine-year contract when his business was done.
Obviously, this storyline has a long way to go to play itself out. The Bears also have to find a way to reach an agreement with running back Matt Forte.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune