Today the Chicago Bears added an additional year onto often-disgruntled linebacker Lance Briggs’ contract, which results in a new three-year, $17.5 million contract. Profootballtalk breaks it down here. As they note, the market for linebackers is down as it is for running backs, so Briggs should be happy with what he has gotten. Anyone wonder whether it will be year one, two or three of this new deal that Briggs will get disgruntled again?
Speaking of disgruntled players playing a position with descending financial value, they also write today that per Adam Schefter of ESPN, Matt Forte says that absent a long-term contract from the Bears, Forte won’t be signing anything. (Forte was designated the Bears’ franchise player at a one-year salary of $7.7 million. If he wants to play in 2012, it is under this deal, or he sits.)
I’m having a hard time finding and expressing my feelings on Forte. I like him as a player and seemingly as a person (for someone I of course don’t and will never know.) But he plays under the bargaining agreement his union agreed to on his behalf. He is being fairly treated by the Bears under the rules of this CBA. Many fans feel that because of Forte’s status as a good guy and dependable running back, the Bears should “pay the man.” I’ve tweeted that myself in celebration when he made big plays. Forte wants one of the ridiculous deals that were given to Adrian Peterson, Deangelo Williams and Chris Johnson. So far none of those have paid off for the teams. Can’t blame Forte for wanting that, but I also can’t blame the Bears for making a smart business decision under the rules they are allowed. History has proven that running backs given monster deals have a hard time earning those enormous checks, which often has hurt the teams that gave the deals out. We will see how it shakes out.
Finally, again from Profootballtalk, Brian Urlacher optimistically states that he loves what new General Manager Phil Emery has done. I think I’m swinging towards agreeing with Urlacher.
Finally, veteran Bears reporter and good guy John Mullin talks Bears on PFT Live.
Not a bad Bears news day for early April.