The stories of August will mostly be forgotten after the first Sunday of the regular season. That’s a good thing for the Bears, who have undeniably had a rough, odd post-lockout period.
The latest drama comes from linebacker Lance Briggs, who wants his contract upgraded. That’s not going to happen, but David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune writes that Briggs’ complaint is only the tip of the iceberg.
“Fair or not, Briggs believes he represented a growing number of teammates unhappy with the way the Bears organization deals with players,” Haugh writes. “To hear some insiders other than Briggs describe morale at various times this preseason, the Bears could become the first NFL team to use the Disenfranchised Tag for players.”
This often happens after successful seasons. It also happens when veterans like Matt Forte and Chris Harris can’t work out new contracts, while the Bears admit expensive free agent mistakes like Chester Taylor and Brandon Manumaleuna.
Bears players have apparently been critical to Haugh about many of the Bears’ front office moves, from failing to re-sign Olin Kreutz and Danieal Manning, to trading Greg Olsen.
Whether the Bears players have a case here is almost irrelevant. The players aren’t happy and Haugh writes that it “smells a lot like 2007” inside the Bears locker room.
The bizarre story of Chester Taylor thinking he was cut on Monday isn’t helping.
Melissa Isaacson of ESPNChicago.com runs down the Bears’ latest blunders and says it’s easy to see the organization as a “dysfunctional embarrassment.” She writes they are becoming “the NFL’s best source of comic relief.”
That NFC title game appearance didn’t buy as much goodwill in Chicago as you’d expect.