Bears and LB Briggs make deal Official

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The Chicago Bears and the two-time Pro Bowl linebacker completed the deal and got it done on time, as they will meet at training camp Friday (Finally!) after agreeing (good pact) to sign a one-year contract with the defending NFC Champions for the 2007 franchise amount of $7.2 million.

Briggs was selected to the Pro Bowl for the second straight season in 2006 when he ranked second for the Monsters of the Midway with a career-high 176 tackles and 10 tackles for loss. The 6-1, 240-pounder, former Arizona Wildcat Third Round selection in the ’03 NFL Draft also had two interceptions, one sack, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Briggs turned down a long-term contract extension (7 years worth $33 million) a year ago and was assigned in place to be the Bears’ franchise player in March after helping the team reach the Super Bowl for the first time in 21 “shuffling” years. This contract guarantees Briggs a one-year contract equal to the average of the five highest paid linebackers in the NFL. But he was upset that the tag did not allow him to explore the market, testing the free agent waters for a big, long-term deal, as he threatened to sit out training camp and up to 10 regular-season games.

Instead, Briggs has inked the one-year deal and will report to training camp, though it was not clear at first if he would exactly show up on time, as many wondered if the weakside linebacker would join the Bears team to participate, working out in the first practice at 3 p.m. Friday. Briggs is a playmaking LB (3 Defensive TD’s – all vs. Division Rivals, including 2 vs. G.B.) who displays speed, ball pursuit, instincts, and big-hitting ability to succeed in the Bears “Tampa 2” Defense under Head Coach Lovie Smith and coordinator Bob Babich. After starting all 16 games for the third consecutive year, the 2006 second-team AP All-Pro has started a total of 61 out of 64 career games played. Briggs’ 61 straight regular season starts ranks as the third-longest current streak on the team.

Briggs will be in it to win it, from the start to the finish for the Chicago Bears 2007 campaign, as the Monsters of the Midway of the Windy City make another run for a Super Bowl Championship, bringing the title back to Chicago where it belongs.

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