Skip to content

Briggs clumsily defends his case for a new contract

Lance+Briggs+ODx5BeOaC1Dm Getty Images

When a player has outperformed a slotted rookie contract, it’s easy to support his quest for a new deal.  When a veteran while on the open market signs a multi-year deal and complains with half of the contract remaining, it’s hard to feel sorry for him.

But that’s precisely what Bears linebacker Lance Briggs wants all of us to do.

He has defended his quest for a new contract and his demand for a trade, only three years after signing a six-year, $36 million contract.  Now that he has pocketed the bulk of the money over the first three years of the contract, he wants more than $3.65 million in 2011.

Briggs should have thought of that before signing a six-year deal that pays him only $3.65 million in the fourth year.

“The main ingredient here, based off my decision, is to get something,” Briggs said Monday, via Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com. “To have management even be willing to talk. Whether it be, let’s deal with it at the end of the year, let’s deal with it after the season, then I have something to work with.  But when the organization or management says we’re not talking now, we’re not talking ever, that puts me in a position where I know my days are numbered.”

There are serious flaws in Briggs’ logic.  The Bears’ decision to hold Briggs to his contract means only one thing:  The Bears want Briggs to honor his contract.  It doesn’t mean that they’re planning to cut him, even though they have the right to do so whenever they want.

“In the NFL, there aren’t any guaranteed contracts. If I underperform, owners will cut me,” Briggs said.  “They have the right to do that any time. They can cut me right before I’m supposed to get a bonus in March. For a player, we have every right to ask for a renegotiating, to ask for a trade, or to hold out.”

We’ll agree with him on the first two points.  A player has a right to ask for a new deal, and a right to ask for a trade.  But there is no “right” to hold out.  By holding out, Briggs would be breaching his contract, subjecting himself to fines in the amount of $30,000 per day, along with the forfeiture of a portion of his signing bonus.

And the signing bonus is why Briggs agreed to a six-year deal.  Given the amount of money he wanted to receive up front, he had to commit to a deal of that length.  He seems to understand that.

“If you understand how the [salary] cap works, you have to structure contracts in certain ways,” Briggs said.  “You have to spread it out over six years so you don’t count too much against the cap.  You have other players that have to be paid at the time, and they tell you, we have to save some of these dollars to pay some of the other players too.  So you sign the deal you have to sign at the time.  There are things the owners will not budge on.”

Still, Briggs signed his current deal as an unrestricted free agent.  If he didn’t like what the Bears were offering, he could have signed with another team.  And if he wanted to have another crack at the open market sooner rather than later, he should have signed a shorter-term deal.

Either way, Briggs’ situation is fundamentally different from that of Chris Johnson or DeSean Jackson.  Briggs signed his deal as an unrestricted free agent, he has gotten paid a lot of money, and now he wants more than he’s supposed to get.  It just doesn’t work that way, and the sooner Briggs realizes that the sooner he can focus fully and completely on earning his pay in 2011 and beyond.

Permalink 49 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Chicago Bears, Home, Rumor Mill
49 Responses to “Briggs clumsily defends his case for a new contract”
  1. mendenhallfumblemachine says: Sep 5, 2011 10:22 PM

    Pay raise? How about a pay cut..? I remember when i was an overrated washed up 4 -3 linebacker.

  2. troybulletinboard says: Sep 5, 2011 10:28 PM

    Briggs also mentioned how he isn’t the type to make a rash decision… you mean like the time you crashed your Lambo on Lake Shore Drive and just ran off right afterwards? Or the time you told EVERYONE you’d never play another down for the Bears, then signed a SIX YEAR CONTRACT a few months later?

  3. wuznotsobad says: Sep 5, 2011 10:28 PM

    Yeah, right, like Briggs is going to realize that… Like the old saying goes, you can’t fix stupid.

  4. duster1982 says: Sep 5, 2011 10:28 PM

    Instead of a Days Without Arrest tracker, there shoud be a Days Without a Player Bitching About Wanting More Money tracker

  5. beastson says: Sep 5, 2011 10:31 PM

    Man, Briggs reminds me of the younger version of me when I signed the contract with the US Army for 5 years and then wondered why I didn’t sign a shorter contract so I could milk the government for some bonus money.

    Wait.. I didn’t. I fulfilled my obligation and then signed up for 5 more because you have to be a MAN about it and quit crying.

  6. phlyeagles20 says: Sep 5, 2011 10:32 PM

    Move him next to an average MLB, and you have yourself a below average LB. Briggs is soft and over rated. Just like the Bears.

  7. dawkinseffect says: Sep 5, 2011 10:33 PM

    God, can’t this guy just go away. No one player is worth that much of a headache.

  8. hrdcorbengalsfan says: Sep 5, 2011 10:38 PM

    Another quitter?

  9. cordellgc says: Sep 5, 2011 10:50 PM

    He should have spent that signing bonus over 6yrs and not upfront

  10. iamthefootballjerk says: Sep 5, 2011 10:53 PM

    He knows he will be washed up in three years, so he is trying to pull a fast one. Maybe he should have signed a three year deal if he was all that smart.

    Regardless, I sometimes would get questioned why I sided with the owners during the lockout. This one would be exhibit A for my argument.

  11. CKL says: Sep 5, 2011 10:55 PM

    Hey Briggs? STOP DIGGING.
    How ’bout I write you an e-mail about my salary?
    I can do f-all about yours and you can do f-all about mine, so you getting to listen to me whine now seems fair.
    Now be a good boy and run outside and play with your new car. Just stay away from trees while driving drunk.

    To all NFL players-

    Here’s something you may or may not have heard while playing in the NFL or just on tv and it applies here also. Apply it to any and all negative public comments about your paycheck in the future:
    YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT. ANYTHING YOU SAY CAN AND WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU IN A COURT (of public opinion).

  12. iknowitallandmore says: Sep 5, 2011 11:06 PM

    Ahh, these classy players.

  13. scudbot says: Sep 5, 2011 11:22 PM

    mendenhallfumblemachine: Absolutely awesome alias. Still #2, though. Chadhennecheckdownclinic might be the best one evah.

  14. platinumraider32 says: Sep 5, 2011 11:25 PM

    Players shouldn’t sign a contract for more than 4 years unless they are QB’s. The market is too fluid and salaries change to much from year to year. Briggs signed a 6 year deal when it probably should have been 3-4, max!!

    Now he’s painted himself in a corner because ownership “doesn’t” have to budge and won’t. The new CBA, from what I’ve seen only works in the players favor from the standpoint of more “up front” money. Owners’ still will dictate base salaries, fines for holdouts went thru the roof, so leverage is not going to be on a players side, at all.

    Just my 2 cents.

  15. h3min1230 says: Sep 5, 2011 11:27 PM

    4-3 LB’s are about as important as punters…

  16. randolph32 says: Sep 5, 2011 11:33 PM

    That’s a switch, M!ke and I agreeing on something….nice touch–it’s a great Country, people get to make their own decisions, and they should stick by their word.

  17. whitecastleisafoodgroup says: Sep 5, 2011 11:34 PM

    I’ll say it once again. Lance, just shut up and play football.

  18. perno13 says: Sep 5, 2011 11:45 PM

    Up yours, Lance Briggs. I hope this doesn’t ruin the Bears’ season.

  19. ronniemexico says: Sep 5, 2011 11:47 PM

    Shut up and play.

  20. cowboysandhuskers says: Sep 5, 2011 11:50 PM

    ONLY $3.65 million this year? Aw shucks, can we hold a telethon or something for this guy so his kids can eat?

  21. ronniemexico says: Sep 5, 2011 11:52 PM

    He would have better off saying, “Lamborghini’s don’t pay for themselves, you know.”

  22. orangeflh says: Sep 6, 2011 12:04 AM

    Typical Chicago turd. Me, me, me. The best part is,those idiots will give it to him at which point Gurlacher will want more, get it, and then neither one will do a damn thing out on the field to deserve it.

    The real question is, who will stink worse; Bears or Vikings? The Pack will win going away, with Detroit absolutely embarrassing the Bears and the Vikings for second place and a possible wild card berth.

    “Upon further review, the Bears still suck!”

    And, as always, “Skol Failure!”

  23. vahawker says: Sep 6, 2011 12:08 AM

    Of course it was clumsy, very hard to defend the indefensible.

  24. Bearfan54 says: Sep 6, 2011 12:37 AM

    As a Bears fan it’s a shame to read something like this. Briggs is a decent linebacker and has played well for the Bears but after reading this and him wanting a new deal makes me think he is really stupid and / or just plain selfish. He could really help this team by just shutting up and being happy as a millionair NFL player but to want more money just to “want” something show the world he is just plain “stupid”. Plus, why doesn’t his agent do him a favor and tell him to keep his mouth shut?

  25. cliffordc05 says: Sep 6, 2011 1:09 AM

    Briggs seems to think that his contract was structured for six years simply to make it work for the salary cap and not because the Bears felt he was worth 6m per year.

    If Briggs wants a new deal he should offer to pay the Bears the difference between what he has received and the approximately prorated 18m value of the first three years of the agreement. My guess is that he would owe the Bears about 7 or 8 million.

    The Bears would love to get 8m for the opportunity to get rid of their incredibly stupid linebacker.

  26. sterlingrodgers says: Sep 6, 2011 1:16 AM

    No leverage Briggs. Sorry. I hope this doesn’t mean that you’ve already blown through $20 million plus.

  27. dannomac21 says: Sep 6, 2011 1:28 AM

    just shut up and play.

    go pack.

  28. asublimeday says: Sep 6, 2011 2:06 AM

    Amen. Shut up lance.

  29. rizza32 says: Sep 6, 2011 2:28 AM

    I’m a bears fan. Please ship this douche out and pick up Lofa

  30. botchedextrapoint says: Sep 6, 2011 2:33 AM

    I wonder what he thinks his leverage. Pay me, because I know you have no depth behind me as a result of all those picks you used in Cutler. Good luck winning that battle.

  31. jutts says: Sep 6, 2011 2:51 AM

    Briggs and his agent are a couple of tools. Yep, get me a 6 year deal , buy a new lamborghini, dump it in a ditch, say so what… I’ll get another one… Jag

  32. raider23mike says: Sep 6, 2011 3:16 AM

    Will soon be on his way to Oakland

  33. savannahrose44 says: Sep 6, 2011 4:14 AM

    Are players ever satisfied with their contracts?

  34. denverdude7 says: Sep 6, 2011 5:17 AM

    Briggs should have thought of that before signing a six-year deal that pays him only $3.65 million in the fourth year.

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    I weep for the hardships the man will be facing.

  35. 1historian says: Sep 6, 2011 5:43 AM

    You only get to do this once in your career, Briggs – one and you’re done. You signed your name you GAVE YOUR WORD. Now just be true to it.

    The Bears will fight tooth and nail with the vikings for 3rd place in the NFC North.

  36. gmsingh says: Sep 6, 2011 6:23 AM

    It seems like most people are whining about Briggs’ whining, but they don’t see the irony of the situation: a six year deal is damn hard to get in the NFL, but after about year 3 or 4 you see other guys passing you by on the money train and you wonder why you signed the long term deal in the first place.

  37. shaggytoodle says: Sep 6, 2011 6:26 AM

    Do the Bears have a young up and coming LB?
    They need to get younger at that position really bad.

    Maybe he just wants nice things, maybe a Lamborghini or something?

  38. east96st says: Sep 6, 2011 7:32 AM

    iamthefootballjerk says: “Regardless, I sometimes would get questioned why I sided with the owners during the lockout. This one would be exhibit A for my argument.”

    Then it’s a damn poor exhibit A. As you can plainly see, the lockout in no way, shape , or form addressed this behavior nor did it do anything to change it. All the lockout really was, was the owners behaving in the same exact way. They had a contract THEY didn’t like, so they threatened to take away football away from all the guys who really pay the bills – the fans. A temper tantrum is a temper tantrum. Doesn’t much matter which party is throwing it. Either way, we lose.

  39. 6thsense79 says: Sep 6, 2011 7:38 AM

    gmsingh says:Sep 6, 2011 6:23 AM

    It seems like most people are whining about Briggs’ whining, but they don’t see the irony of the situation: a six year deal is damn hard to get in the NFL, but after about year 3 or 4 you see other guys passing you by on the money train and you wonder why you signed the long term deal in the first place.
    ————————————-
    Like Mike said….this is a Veteran that signed that contract as a free agent. He had choices. This isn’t like rookies who are drafted by a team and can only sign with that team for a sloted amount and length their draft position dictates.

    I will always back a rookie that outplays his rookie contract and wants a new one but veterans that had choices and signed their free agent contracts? Go pound sand.

  40. r3alta1k says: Sep 6, 2011 7:57 AM

    You all are jokes…really, a man who wants more money is a problem? If he can get it, I say get it. The owners make moves everyday, like charging more for beer, to make more money. Do they deserve more? Did your owner make better decisions last year to deserve an increase? Look I’m all for anyone doing what ever they can to get more money as long as it does not cause problems for the team, affect his performance in a negative way, or create a unprofessional environment. Now its not might decision, and I wouldn’t give it to him, but he can want what he wants. It’s the fans who read this and make it a big deal, bashing the player. You decided to take your job at your pay, but if you could go to work today an renegotiate after watching all these new hires come in and get paid more than you, wouldn’t YOU!! It amazes me how people side with the Boss and there point of view rather than the workforce. The mind is a terrible thing to waste!

  41. hodag54501 says: Sep 6, 2011 8:21 AM

    Briggs had a golden opportunity to make a case for himself last year. The Bears could have kept the Packers out of the playoffs by winning in Green Bay. They didn’t. While it was low-scoring slugfest, I don’t recall Briggs stepping up to make plays, as a player paid at his level should do.
    Shortly thereafter, the Packers played the Bears in the playoffs. Same thing.
    Big players make big plays in big games.
    Briggs—you there?
    He’s a featured linebacker on a defense and city that loves good defense and all he can do is complain. Maybe he can find happiness in the CFL.
    From a lifelong Packers fan.

  42. steeelfann says: Sep 6, 2011 8:24 AM

    These players are making me pukey.

    Why is it that I never hear the players or agents say,

    “Ya know, Andre has vastly under-performed his contract based on that HUGE signing bonus, so Andre has decided it is unfair for the club to pay him so much over the next 3 years. Andre wants to give back to the club and will only ask for 1/2 of what his contract states he should be paid in the final years of the contract. Just to make it”fair”. ”

    Who doesn’t get sick of these guys? First thing I tell guys working for us on a job: You signed the contract, some guys will be making more than you, some less. Keep your eyes off what others are making and just do your job. You are happy today with all the facts of this contract including the duration of it.

    Lance Briggs can go be an accountant after his playing days, or maybe move furniture. He is not retiring, but moving on to a new job. Cry me a river Lance, can’t wait till you are history (Maybe soon than you think, by the way).

  43. xxbomberxx says: Sep 6, 2011 8:31 AM

    Everybody here is always anti- player when it comes to money… yet the owners charge YOU 10.00 dollars for a beer. or 7.00 for a hot dog. 50 dollars to park. And you have NO problem with it.

    You do know the REAL every day price for these items dont you? Where do you think all of that profit goes.

  44. nikkodawg says: Sep 6, 2011 8:57 AM

    I think you mean the Edens expressway, not LSD.

    troybulletinboard says:
    Sep 5, 2011 10:28 PM
    Briggs also mentioned how he isn’t the type to make a rash decision… you mean like the time you crashed your Lambo on Lake Shore Drive and just ran off right afterwards? Or the time you told EVERYONE you’d never play another down for the Bears, then signed a SIX YEAR CONTRACT a few months later?

  45. briggsisbrokeagain says: Sep 6, 2011 9:17 AM

    As a player on the field, Briggs is a good linebacker. As a man off the field, not so good. He’s starting to bore the heck out of me.

  46. wtfru2 says: Sep 6, 2011 9:48 AM

    Give em some of Cutler’s money, he doesn’t earn it…

  47. jutts says: Sep 6, 2011 10:32 AM

    Let him go……………………….Cry Baby…

  48. pigskinswag says: Sep 6, 2011 11:29 AM

    Somebody call the WAAAAHMBULANCE

  49. balewsquare says: Sep 6, 2011 11:30 AM

    Briggs is set to make $3.9 million this year, $4mill next year, and $6.5mill in 2013. He said, at a minimum, he would like to swap the 2013 salary with this year’s or next year’s. Clearly he is having some money problems and tearing up this contract would put some new guaranteed $ in his pocket. He is just attempting to justify his behavior in the worst way, because you can’t justify it by saying, “Hey, I blew through my big signing bonus already. I thought that was going to continue…What?! Give me more money!!”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!