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- Bears Retain Lance Briggs via Franchise Tag

Chris Pokorny February 16, 2007
Chris Pokorny
PFC Owner & Writer

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The Chicago Bears don't want to lose any defensive playmakers. The Bears have placed the franchise tag on star linebacker Lance Briggs, who would have become an unrestricted free agent on March 2nd. Briggs will make about $7.2 million for 2007. If another team offers Briggs a contract and the Bears do not match it, the team would have to give Chicago a first-round draft pick in 2007 and 2008. Briggs did not comment on having the tag placed on him, but a few days ago, he expressed interest in free agency.

"You play four years as a third-round draft pick and you have your opportunity to get big pay for your work," Briggs said. "You definitely want to see what your worth is."

Briggs apparently rejected a six-year contract worth more than $30 million last spring. He has been to the Pro Bowl for the past two seasons after being drafted in the third round of the 2003 draft.

"Lance is one of the cornerstones of our defense," said Bears head coach Lovie Smith. "Everything we have asked him to do, he has done and he has developed each year. A lot of the success we've had (on defense) has been based on how Lance has played."

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