Bears Pro Bowl LB Lance Briggs told the Chicago Tribune that his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has filed a formal request with the team seeking a trade for his client.
Briggs, a six-time Pro Bowler, has three years left on the six-year, $36 million contract he signed in 2008. He is scheduled to make $3.9 million this season (including bonuses), $4 million in 2012 and $6.5 million in ’13.
He wants the Bears to restructure his contract in a manner that would increase his salary this season, possibly by flip-flopping the $3.9 million with the $6.5 million in the final year. The team has not shown any signs of doing such a deal.
"The Bears made their decision, now I have to make mine," Briggs told the paper. "It's just how the business works. It's not going to take away from what I do on the field. I'm 100 percent a Bear, until I'm not a Bear anymore."
If the team grants permission to seek a trade, Briggs and Rosenhaus could talk with other teams to see if something could be worked out.
Briggs has been hobbled by an ankle injury and did not play in the team's final two preseason games.
The way we see it
This is terrible timing for the Bears, as they prepare for the start of the season. Briggs is a very valuable member of the defense, especially as a proven commodity among a thin, aging LB corps.
The team needs him and he knows it. It will be interesting to see if they agree to flip-flopping the compensation for the next three years or if they hold firm and force him to decide if he wants to hold out and miss game checks.