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Bears agree to extension with Briggs

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By PFW staff

The Bears announced Wednesday that they have agreed to a one-year contract extension with WLB Lance Briggs. His new deal runs through 2014.

"We're very excited for Lance and for the Bears," Bears GM Phil Emery said. "Lance has been a very valuable and productive member of our team; seven straight Pro Bowls is quite a record of success. This is a very positive step for our team in our efforts to win championships."

Briggs, who has been named to seven-straight Pro Bowls, had been unhappy with his contract situation and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, formally requested a trade after the preseason last year when the Bears didn't offer Briggs the raise had had approached them about. The Bears did not fulfill his request, though, and he put the issue aside and started all 16 games for Chicago in 2011.

He signed a six-year, $36 million deal in 2008 after testing the market in free agency and he was due a base salary of $3.75 million in 2012 under the terms of that agreement.

Financial details of his extension were not disclosed.

The way we see it

This takes one potential issue off the table for the Bears this offseason, as any tension between Briggs and the club in regards to his contract has likely been defused.

Briggs, who will turn 32 in November, is still considered one of the top 4-3 weak-side linebackers in the game, although some evaluators say his production dipped a bit last season.

While Briggs is presumably content now, it's different story with RB Matt Forté, who has publicly expressed his frustration with the long-term contract offer the Bears have made him. He received the franchise tag in March. The two sides have until July 16 to work out a multi-year deal and indications are Forté has no intention of reporting to offseason workouts and practices without a new long-term deal in hand.

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