Briggs not happy with Bears; Angelo feels salary is just

Updated: March 7, 2007, 1:35 AM ET
Associated Press

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Disgruntled Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs wants out of Chicago, saying the Bears should remove his franchise player tag or trade him.

Lance Briggs
Briggs
General manager Jerry Angelo had a message for Briggs on Tuesday: The Bears are expecting him to play with them this season, with a one-year, $7.2 million deal, the average of the top five salaries at his position.

"We have his rights, so he's on our football team," Angelo said Tuesday during a conference call to discuss the trade of leading rusher Thomas Jones to the New York Jets.

"We feel that we're treating him very good. That's a lot of money he's making on a one year-deal. The strain really comes to us in terms of our cap and what we have to do for a one-year deal."

Angelo said he had no calls about Briggs from other teams.

"Most of the times when you franchise a player they don't get traded," Angelo said. "We will always listen to anything that we feel will be in our best interest. But when we did this, it was with the intent for him to a Bear this year."

Briggs and the team could not come to agreement on a contract extension last spring -- reports say he turned down a six-year, $33 million deal.

Briggs has made his unhappiness known in a couple of interviews, one with ESPN.com and another with a Chicago radio station in which he said "I'll do everything that's within my power to not be with this organization."

"What it really comes down to, it's not about the money. It's about you've played long enough and you think you've earned a certain position on the team that you would be here for a long time."

Briggs said the Bears have no intention now of working out a long-term deal to keep him.

"We did go to Lance in the spring to try to do a long-term deal. So that was our intent as it has been with other players that we had under contract before their contracts expired," Angelo said.

"We gave it what we feel are our very best efforts. We thought we put a very good deal on the table. And we also told them that the option of the franchise tag was there and they decided to pass the deal up and play it out. We certainly have to respect that. And we also told them that we were going to move on."

Briggs, who's been selected to two Pro Bowls, just completed his fourth season with the Bears and was a third-round draft choice out of Arizona in 2003.

Briggs made $721,600 last season when he led the Bears with 117 solo tackles.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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