Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, who signed a six-year, $36 million contract with the team in 2008, now wants to rip up the final three seasons of the deal.
Briggs confirmed to Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune that the veteran linebacker has approached the team regarding a raise. G.M. Jerry Angelo declined to comment.
The player’s desire for more money apparently arises from the wave of new deals given to linebackers in recent weeks.
It’s not the first time Briggs has been unhappy with a contract that he signed. He complained about a one-year, $7.2 million franchise tender in 2007, at one point claiming he’d never again for the Bears. He then signed his current contract with the Bears after becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2008.
Along the way, the Bears talked to the 49ers about a possible trade. The Bears accused the Niners of tampering when San Fran launched contract talks with Briggs. The league eventually agreed with the Bears, a rare case of the NFL acknowledging a common (but largely ignored) phenomenon.
Though Briggs has no legitimate basis for complaining about the back end of a veteran contract that he signed after hitting the open market (unlike a guy who is strapped with a slotted rookie deal), the Bears have only themselves to blame for signing Briggs to a six-year deal. They surely knew that, at some point, other linebackers would be getting larger contracts. And they should have realized that, at some point, Briggs was going to want more, again.
Birggs has missed the two most recent preseason games, with a bruised knee. He says that the injury and his desire for a new contract aren’t related.