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Bears put Briggs, Forte contract talks on hold

Posted on: September 6, 2011 11:50 am
Edited on: September 6, 2011 12:52 pm
 
Lance Briggs and Matt Forte may have to wait until after the season to talk about new contracts. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson


On Friday, Bears linebacker Lance Briggs announced (by way of his agent Drew Rosenhaus) that he wants to be traded. He's currently in Year 4 of a six-year, $36 million deal he signed in 2008. "The Bears made their decision, now I have to make mine," Briggs recently told the Chicago-Tribune after the team rebuffed his request for a raise.

Briggs later took his case to Twitter, explaining the nuances of NFL contracts (sic'd): 

“Most have no idea what's goin on. Owners can cut any player they want at any time and answer to know one. Players fight for themselves … And get ridiculed. You know as well as I do there are things that happen behind doors that all the fans/critics dnt know about … I keep reading that players (I) should honor our contracts...when have owners honored contracts...they dnt. Chris Johnson should never have … Had to hold out to get a new deal. His play spoke for himself. Yet team wouldnt just pay the man. Tommie Harris was honoring his contract … When the bears cut him right before his bonus. Cut Brandon Manumaleuna when he was just honoring his contract. … Players do what you must. People get hurt and emotional. I understand...bottom line were all still bears and were trying to bring home a championship.”

We understand Briggs' concerns but most fans do understand that NFL contracts aren't guaranteed. And, in general, we have absolutely no issue with players gettin' while the gettin' is good. But we hesitate to immediately take up Briggs' cause because he's now on his second contract, generally the one that pays big-name players handsomely after making relatively little on their rookie deals.

So now, three years into a contract he was happy to sign, Briggs, a nine-year veteran, wants more money. That's a little different than Chris Johnson, one of the two best backs in the league, holding out for something more than the $800,000 or so he was set to make in 2011.

Whatever Briggs wants will now have to wait until after the season.

"What he's doing is not something that hasn't been done here in Chicago and around the league," Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said Monday, according to ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert. "We feel very, very confident that Lance's focus is going to be on the season and having a great year, and we'll just take care of our business when that time comes. And that'll be at the end of the year."

Briggs admits that he's open to the idea of talking after the season, and all he wants to do is switch the $6.25 million he's set to make in the final year of his deal with the $3.65 million he'll make in 2011. Which is nice, but that's something he should take up with his agent, who structured the deal, instead of his bosses.

Either way, that appears to be a conversation for another day.

In other Bears-related contract news, the team has cut off negotiations with running back Matt Forte. According to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Gene Chamberlain, the two sides are no longer talking contract extension. "Right now our focus is going to be on the season," said Angelo on WBBM-AM 780's Bears Insider Show. Angelo called it a "mutual understanding" that there would be no more talks for now.

Last week, the Bears reportedly offered Forte $15 million guaranteed, although the details of the proposal weren't made public.

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Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 1:57 am
 

Bears put Briggs, Forte contract talks on hold




Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 25, 2011 2:59 am
 

Bears put Briggs, Forte contract talks on hold

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 4, 2011 6:10 pm
 

Bears put Briggs, Forte contract talks on hold

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tomlye
Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 28, 2011 11:27 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 20, 2011 1:23 am
 

Bears put Briggs, Forte contract talks on hold

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Since: Nov 25, 2006
Posted on: September 8, 2011 1:54 am
 

Bears put Briggs, Forte contract talks on hold

The big difference with that was the Bears ownership/management brought it to the table. Urlacher was not asking to be traded in order to force a new deal. He and the Bears worked out a deal that was best for the team, and benefitted Urlacher as well.



Urlacher may not have been asking to be traded, but make no mistake that he was voicing his concerns in the media.  He showed more tact and class than Briggs, but he was clearly pushing for more money. 

And the bottom line is that Briggs looks at that situation and wants to know why they can do it for Urlacher and not for him. 

Believe me, I'm not arguing that they should, but once a precendent is set there will be an expectation for those that follow. 



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: September 7, 2011 10:01 am
 

Bears put Briggs, Forte contract talks on hold


I want my team to build the best possible team they can with the resources they have available.

Of course you do,  and so would any fan of any sport. You wanna know what's really funny though?  Even the fans on these boards ripping teams like the Bears for giving Briggs a hard time or fans ripping the Jaguars for cutting Garrard agree with you.  We can look and find thread after thread of fans ripping players they don't like and players on their own team they want cut.  Once in a while though when a "superstar" speaks up or a popular player like Garrard gets cut all hell breaks lose. NOW they care..... follow some of these guys posting for a while and you'll find a lot of people backing Briggs on these boards are cheering when some pretty good players get cut.... it's weird.

When a player underperforms his deal, he should be fired and the team should replace him - they need that money to go after better players for the sake of the team's best interests.

Exactly right, and why should it work any other way?  In the real world if somebody hires me at a salary of x dollars per year and I do a great job, I get to keep my job.  If I'm lucky I'll get a raise sooner then later but there is no guarantee.  If I don't do a good job I'll get fired faster then I got hired..... it's that simple.  And there is no security with up front crazy money.  Nobody is going to pay me a year's salary in advance and pray to God they get their money's worth.  And if I "overperform" for 2 years nobody is going to suddenly give me a raise retroactive to when I started.  I'm expected to perform to the best of my ability.  I understand people will respond to this by saying it's different in sports, but I'm going to say the principle remains the same.

That's just how it works. When a big-contract guy gets waived, his money will eventually go to other NFL players who the team believe can help them win. One players' loss is almost always another players' gain. So neither the players association nor the teams ever really change their total compensation or expenses. The money is just redistributed to the players with the most promise. How does that hurt the players as a whole? It actually helps a lot of players

 Another great point sir and very true.  It's not like the owners are saying no to Briggs or cutting Garrard and pocketing the extra money. They are reinvesting it and other players get it.    Two years after Briggs agreed to an extension the Bears went out and picked up Julius Peppers in the free agent market for big money.  How is a team supposed to stay competitive and plan for the future if players do what Briggs is doing every year.  They signed peppers to a massive contract based on what they knew they could afford and the agreements they had in place at that time. Suddenly a player like Briggs bumps his head and says, oops, I need a lot more to keep playing !!!  

Businesses aren't run like that....



Since: Jan 19, 2007
Posted on: September 7, 2011 9:50 am
 

Bears put Briggs, Forte contract talks on hold

One thing to note though............

The Bears have revised contracts in the past.  In 2008 the Bears revised the contract of Brian Urlacher to give him more money up front and additional salaries over the life of the contract.
The big difference with that was the Bears ownership/management brought it to the table. Urlacher was not asking to be traded in order to force a new deal. He and the Bears worked out a deal that was best for the team, and benefitted Urlacher as well.

The Bears knew the best chance of locking up Urlacher for his career was to give him a big extension while the price was somewhat affordable and well before Urlacher could decide to test the free agency waters. They made him a great offer to be a career Bear at a certain price, and he accepted. The Bears likely saved money in the long run by doing this, and Urlacher got a nice signing bonus. He would never complain now just because his annual salary is not as high as other LBs.



Since: Nov 25, 2006
Posted on: September 7, 2011 3:19 am
 

Bears put Briggs, Forte contract talks on hold

One thing to note though............

The Bears have revised contracts in the past.  In 2008 the Bears revised the contract of Brian Urlacher to give him more money up front and additional salaries over the life of the contract. 

So while I wouldn't agree with making changes to a contract that has 3 years remaining, Briggs knows it has been done before. 



Since: Nov 25, 2006
Posted on: September 7, 2011 3:14 am
 

Bears put Briggs, Forte contract talks on hold

When Briggs brings up Tommie Harris and Brandon Malumaleuna being cut it really doesn't help his case.  A few years back the Bears made Harris the highest paid DT in the NFL and gave him $18 million guaranteed.  And even at the time there were red flags about his ability to stay healthy, but the Bears gave him the deal anyway.  They also gave him ample opportunity to work through both injuries and off-field issues but in the end he was ineffective and needed to be cut.  But make no mistake - Harris was well paid by the Bears. 

And the Bears cut Manumaleuna because he showed up at camp overweight and out of shape.  This came on the heels of a 2010 campaign in which he was terrible.  He was brought in as a blocking TE but he couldn't block ............    Plus they gave him $6 million in the first year of his deal - more than he made in the previous 5 seasons in the NFL. 





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