Briggs Sticks Up for Forte When it Comes to Holding Out

Lance Briggs can empathize with running back Matt Forte, who again is expected to be absent Thursday when the Chicago Bears wrap up the voluntary portion of their offseason workout program.

Five years ago, Briggs also wrestled with accepting the team’s franchise tag. Ultimately, he didn’t receive the long-term deal he sought until after the 2007 season when he entered free agency.

“It’s just rough,” Briggs said according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. “I know (Forte) wants to be out here with his team. But you also know what your value is in this league and you work hard and you want that to be recognized. You want that to be recognized with a long-term deal. You know how this business is. It’s rough, it can be brutal.”

“Do what you believe, just do what you believe because no one knows you like you,” he said. “And no one is going to take care of you like you.”

Briggs said the most difficult thing he faced was not getting the long-term offer he sought in 2007.

“I wanted a long-term (contract) and the organization didn’t at that time,” Briggs said. “So it was a little personal where I put some time in and I thought that I had earned the right to stay here for a long time rather than give you my services for a year and then potentially be shopped out again. A lot of guys want that long-term security. They want to know that the team wants them for a long period of time.

“We’re all grown men and we know that everyone here individually, we all have to do what we have to do. So whatever Matt has to do, I completely understand. He isn’t letting me down, he isn’t letting any of his teammates down because it’s Matt life and he’s come out here and he’s put his life and his mind and body on the field for all of this. He’s done a lot of thrills for the city of Chicago and everyone has seen what he’s capable of doing and what he means to our team.”

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