Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs signed a one-year contract extension today. He is now signed through the 2014 season.
Running back Matt Forte has been negotiating on a contract extension with Bears management since last offseason, yet the two sides still appear to be very far apart. The team recently placed a $7.7 million franchise tag on Forte, yet he still hasn’t signed the tender, meaning he won’t be in attendance at next week’s team voluntary workouts.
Briggs, speaking with the media this afternoon on conference call, said Forte deserves to be paid like one of the best backs in the league.
RB Matt Forte
“I’ve played next to the guy that last couple of years and I know how much he means to our team,” said Briggs. “He knows what his value is, and I think all of us know what his value is. So he knows what he’s doing. I will continue to support and hope that he gets the deal that he knows he deserves.”
Briggs said he fully understand Forte’s situation.
“I know exactly where he is. I’ve been there,” said Briggs, referring to the contentious negotiations that took place before he re-signed with the team in 2007.
“Me and him are in two very different situations. We’re dealing with two different types of money. We’re dealing with two different types of deals. I hope that his situation gets resolved soon and I want him to be happy. That’s what it comes down to.”
While he understands his teammate’s predicament, Briggs said it’s up to Forte and his agent, Adisa Bakari, to get the deal done.
“He’s a grown man. I can’t come to his house and say that I’m going to feed his family, and neither can you and neither can anybody else. It’s up to him to feed his family and it’s his life and his career.”
Briggs also believes that the organization will take care of Brian Urlacher, whose contract is up after this season.
“I think that Brian, the Bears will do right by him. He’s coming off a great year and hopefully we can play until we’re 49 years old, if that’s possible.”
Briggs said he has every intention of retiring in Chicago.
“My dream is to retire as a Bear and I know that I will retire as a Bear. I’m just excited right now. I’m so juiced that everything it happened fast and I can focus on preparing for a championship year.”
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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of Bear Report magazine and BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.