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Lance Briggs lament departure of Bears veterans

Briggs AP

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.

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23 Responses to “Lance Briggs lament departure of Bears veterans”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 9, 2014 1:27 PM

    Well they looked like they might have a chance to establish a pulse at some point over the last few years but they got stifled with a lousy GM and HC that has held them back and choked them out. Those 2 guys are insurance against success.

  2. thepftpoet says: Mar 9, 2014 1:28 PM

    The hapless Bears defense just got worse.

    And I didn’t even think that defense could get worse ranking 32nd against the run.

    Come to Minnesota on a league minimum contract where defense is actually implemented by the Defensive Guru Mike Zimmer.

  3. 91devinhester23 says: Mar 9, 2014 1:30 PM

    it’s called going young, the entire draft will be spent on defense. Briggs should be worrying about playing better than he did last year.

  4. shoddymnbridgerepair says: Mar 9, 2014 1:34 PM

    At least the departing Bears don’t have to worry about their bridges collapsing on the way out of town.

  5. larryboodry says: Mar 9, 2014 1:34 PM

    Sad reality in the NFL…Nice to hear that Briggs won’t whine like Urlacher when the time comes.

  6. whatjusthapped says: Mar 9, 2014 1:39 PM

    Briggs has a better chance of finding his Lamborghini than he does being a GM of the Chicago Bears. Just shut up and play, that’s your job.

  7. meatcarroll says: Mar 9, 2014 1:44 PM

    Yeah, it is kinda depressing. A lot of once big name players kinda just vanish into the ether and people sort of forget they existed. Warrick Dunn, Julian Peterson, Chris McAlister,Peter Boulware, etc

  8. teal379 says: Mar 9, 2014 1:45 PM

    The problem is, and it’s not specific to Lance or the Bears, that players who are above average on a team start to think that the team didn’t exist until they got there and can’t exist without them there.

    Lance is talking about it now. Urlacher feels the same way. Bears weren’t anything without them, how dare they “disrespect” them by not keeping them on the team.

    A good team will remind all their players from day 1 that they’re on the team to uphold a LEGACY that was there before them and will be after.

    Nips some of this “But I am the face of the franchise” BS in the bud.

  9. thevikesarebest says: Mar 9, 2014 1:48 PM

    3rd place carebears next year.vikings run the north.SKOL

  10. alshonbrandontandem says: Mar 9, 2014 1:54 PM

    This is def Briggs last season in Chicago, take us to promise land Lance, SB champs!!!

  11. thegreatgabbert says: Mar 9, 2014 1:58 PM

    “They were taken from us too soon!”, sobbed Lance, shaking his fist at the heavens.

  12. masher1965 says: Mar 9, 2014 2:14 PM

    What should he have said ? It is the NFL and players careers simply do not last forever . As good as the players mentioned, the fact is they didn’t get the job done, and that is win it all. They came close, and a few of them , Tillman in particular, may have a few seasons left in the tank. However the last few seasons have seen the Bears struggle against the better teams and the reason is simple, lack of overall talent. The Urlachers, Hesters, Peppers, et al are getting older and are NOT as good as they were. While it would be awesome sentimentally for Urlacher , Hester , Tillman and Briggs, to have or to retire as Bears, the fact is the Bears and each and every fan want a Super Bowl win more. Urlacher wanted too much money and found himself overpriced and retired. Hester will almost assuredly end up in Tampa Bay with Lovie, but I will bet for far less than the Bears would have to pay him to stay. Peppers is simply not worth the 18 million, Tillman is a guy I would love to see resigned, but at his age and coming off an injury year, those are 2 very bad signs . I hope he isn’t seeking a huge payday , otherwise he will be gone as well.

  13. wnstonchill says: Mar 9, 2014 2:14 PM

    Players in today’s NFL struggle with “change” more so now than ever. It’s harder to keep players and feel that sense of loyalty as the game is evolving more and more into simply a BUSINESS. Anyone that thinks that it’s not about “business” is deceived. You can’t have it both ways. Multi-millions of dollars vs keeping players based on popularity and past accomplishments is like mixing oil and water. Regardless of you or I feel about the subject is irrelevent…….it’s called BUSINESS!

  14. gridassassin says: Mar 9, 2014 2:20 PM

    Urlacher decided not to accept the Bears offer, 31 other GMs passed on him. The NFL has changed the rules and value of return specialists. And Briggs could always offer up some of his salary to retain Charles Tillman.

  15. opietaylor says: Mar 9, 2014 2:26 PM

    How come Urlacher isn’t commenting about the 9 mil he stole in 2009 while his wrist was hurt in the 1st qtr of game #1. Or the 9 mil he stole in 2012 while running around gassed on 1 wheel? Briggs whine and cried a few years ago until the Bears gave him a raise/extension. He got it, and now he’s “sad”. When your favorite old refrigerator starts getting warm and not keepin your food fresh, and using tons of energy, do you keep it and say, ” I don’t care if it makes my food rot quick, and I get sick. it’s my favorite refrigerator” No you go and get a brand new, energy efficient, sleek appliance at the best price you can. go Bears! The whole team/franchise. The NFL’s first. Since 1920.

  16. orivar says: Mar 9, 2014 2:38 PM

    It seems nobody gets to retire with their teams anymore.

  17. rextraordinaire says: Mar 9, 2014 3:14 PM

    Good things don’t last forever, especially when that thing stopped being good. We all knew the veterans on defense would leave one way or another. The Emery/Trestman era is fully underway, and neither of them will hold on to the staples of the Angelo/Smith era any longer than they feel they need to.

  18. seriously777 says: Mar 9, 2014 11:20 PM

    How is this a harsh reality of the “modern” NFL. Did the old NFL pay people more than they were worth? Each of these players has arrived at a point in their career, were their benefit is less than their cost. This is the cycle of an NFL career. The problem seems to be that some just don’t when it’s time to hang it up.

  19. thetigerleg says: Mar 9, 2014 11:28 PM

    Proper nouns that end in s need not be plural. There is only one Lance Briggs you are talking about so your headline should read “Lance Briggs laments departure of Bears veterans.” The style guide probably allows you get away with not adding an apostrophe to Bears to make it possessive. I understand it’s a blog format and it’s den hastily, but an error in the headline. C’mon, man!

  20. initialsgbm says: Mar 10, 2014 1:11 AM

    It’s hard to be the last guy at the end of an era.

    That’s what’s Briggs will be.

    Back in 2007, I seem to recall a point in Briggs’ career where he was demanding to be released or traded from the Bears during contract renegotiation. It’s part of business. Back then it worked for him.

    When you are on the wrong side of 30, slowed by age and injury and command a high salary, it no longer works for any player.

  21. malek773 says: Mar 10, 2014 11:52 AM

    I get that Briggs is sad that some of his buddies are sticking around until the end, but teams that are successfully, don’t keep aging unproductive guys, and teams that aren’t successfully sign those same players. Look around the NFL. Teams like the Dolphins and Vikings and etc.. sign teams old aging veterans. When’s the last time those teams won anything relevant? Teams that are successfully year after year no when to let old talent walk away.

    The other thing is money. As many of you said the Bears offered Urlacher something that no other team offered. I’m also certain if Hester would of signed a contract at something like 1M per season to be the returner the Bears would of brought him back. Same will go for Tillman and Briggs when his time comes. If will accept a number that works for the teams cap you’ll be able to stay. The Bears paid all of these guys very generous contracts in the past. So in the end Loyalty works both ways. How about you take a pay cut to stay with the team that took care of you for 10 plus years?

    As much as I love guys like Briggs and Urlacher, they never see it this way. They only see the side of ” theres no loyalty with the bears anymore”

  22. sep3016 says: Mar 10, 2014 5:35 PM

    Apparently they must reading Jerry Jones book on failure, except for thechapter on selling womens underwear.

  23. tban65 says: Mar 11, 2014 9:18 AM

    I love when these players “hate to see their friends go” but when it is contract time they grab as much as they can get. Yes, I understand the career of a pro athlete is short, but when it comes to the end and they look back and wonder why they didn’t win a championship, why the team can’t afford to keep their friends, often times the answer is in the mirror. Perhaps if they arranged for a more cap-friendly contract their team could have afforded to keep more players, or perhaps signed that player to help take them to the championship. A good example of this was Walter Payton: you never heard of any contract squabbles, and he wasn’t always the most highly paid running back in the league, but his contract had an annuity that paid $240,000/year from age 32 to age 72 (even after he died) so his family was taken care of. That was a cap-friendly player and one who is in the Hall of Fame–even in a year when the cap was self-imposed by merit of working for the cheapest team in the league.

    Sorry Briggs, but if you guys want to win championships and want your friends to stick around, think of it when you are doing the “business” part of the game and keep your demands reasonable.

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