|Briggs agrees to 1-year deal with Bears|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 25 July 2007 12:39|
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) -Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs, who'd threatened to sit out the season, agreed Wednesday to a one-year, $7.2 million deal with the Chicago Bears as the team's franchise player.|
Briggs, who helped the Bears make the Super Bowl last season for the first time since 1985, had been unhappy when Chicago designated him as its franchise player. It meant he would get the average of the top five salaries at his position but restricted his ability to explore free agency because the Bears could match any offer.
Briggs earned $721,600 in the final season of his first NFL contract after he reportedly rejected a six-year, $33 million offer last spring.
At one point in the offseason Briggs told the Bears to remove the tag or trade him. A potential deal with the Redskins didn't materialize.
``I've played my last snap for them. I'll never play another down for Chicago again,'' Briggs said during the offseason.
Now, he will.
The Bears report to training camp Thursday at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, about 60 miles south of Chicago. The first practice is Friday and it wasn't clear Wednesday if Briggs would be present at the first workout.
Briggs skipped the team's offseason workouts and minicamp, but he was still on his teammates' minds. On the final day of drills this spring as players swapped numbers, teammate Brian Urlacher donned Briggs' No. 55.
Briggs made the Pro Bowl for a second time last season, recording a career-high 176 tackles with two interceptions and a fumble recovery while starting all 16 games for a third straight season. He had 117 solo tackles.
In March, the Bears tagged Briggs as their franchise player, prompting him to threaten a holdout, at first for the entire season and then for 10 games.
The 6-foot-1, 240-pound Briggs was the team's third-round draft choice out of Arizona in 2003 and has blossomed in coach Lovie Smith's version of the Cover 2 defense alongside Urlacher.
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