Last year, it was Brian Urlacher. Last week, it was Devin Hester. Soon, it could be Charles Tillman.
Eventually, it will be Lance Briggs. And Lance Briggs knows it.
“It’s sad, man,” Briggs said of the recent departures of veteran Bears players, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “For a guy like me — and I know Peanut [Tillman] and Brian have been here a long time — we’ve seen a lot of guys come and go. I think we all know our time is coming. But it’s sad when it does. And I hate to see a guy like Devin, and what he’s meant to this city and to the Bears organization, not brought back. . . . It’s hard with the bond that you build with all your brothers. It kinda just sucks.”
Briggs remains hopeful that Tillman will re-sign with the Bears.
“One of my brothers didn’t get a chance to come back this past year, and hopefully the other one gets to stay,” Briggs said. “We’ll see.”
At some point, Tillman won’t be back. At some point, Briggs won’t be back. It’s a harsh reality of the modern NFL, where players received the freedom that comes with free agency but in turn experience the finality that comes from costing too much under the salary cap.
“When my time comes, I don’t expect anything more or less than a tweet saying, ‘We’re parting ways with Lance,’” Briggs said. “It’s not gonna hurt my feelings or anything like that.”
That day is coming for Briggs. And for Julius Peppers. And for Matt Forte. And Jay Cutler. And Brandon Marshall. And every other player who has been or will be a contributor to the Bears and every other NFL team.