On-Going Briggs Saga Heating Up: Numerous reports continue to stir while the pot is heating up as rumors and “inside sources” have either Chicago in good position to keep their All-Pro LB; with some reporting the exact opposite, having said it is almost as good as a done deal with Briggs heading to SF. Which side of the story do you believe? I find it hard to understand how you can have two completely different reports to this puzzle and I don’t know which rumor to believe. The early indication is that “tampering” issues of SF going after Briggs too early leaked out and this may help and benefit the Bears tremendously in retaining their standout weakside LB. On the flip side, expect the California native Briggs to go back home if these allegations are not pinned against the 49ers. The violations may be true, but I know the NFL will not hold it against them because so many other teams are guilty of this. I see Briggs chances of staying with the Windy City Soldiers at 25/75% leaning towards SF.
Imagine Patrick Willis teamed up with Briggs at LB! All I can say is that I really enjoyed watching Briggs play a key role with the Monsters of the Midway on defense and it has been a good run for the former Arizona Wildcat!
Look for GM Jerry Angelo to give it one last shot, as he has done all he could and should do in trying to keep the disgruntled tackling machine. Chicago’s 4th round selection in 2006, Arizona State LB Jamar Williams, can develop surely into a good replacement and provide the same quickness/lateral pursuit (sideline-to-sideline ability), instincts (nose for the ball), and intensity (consistent motivation in getting to the ballcarrier) to the game as the former 3rd round choice of ’03 offered as a Bear lined up next to Brian Urlacher.
NewsFlash Part I (From ProFootball Talk):
NO BRIGGS DEAL IN SAN FRAN (YET)
ProFootball Talk – Despite rampant rumors and speculation that the San Francisco 49ers already have a wink-nod deal in place with linebacker Lance Briggs, a source close to the situation tells us that the 49ers currently aren’t even among the teams that are interested in his services.
Other teams are interested in Briggs, and we’re told that there’s actually a chance that he’ll stay in Chicago. But, as to Briggs, the pre-free agency tamper-fest that infects the league in late February has not included the Niners.
It could be that the 49ers backed off as a result of the tampering charges that the Bears filed in 2007 as a result of contract discussions between the Niners and Briggs’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus, that allegedly occurred in connection with failed trade talks between the two teams. If so, Chicago’s apparent strategy — i.e., file the charges in order to get San Fran to back off — apparently worked.
But that hasn’t kept other teams from making it known that they have an interest in the Tampa Two weakside specialist. And it doesn’t mean that the Niners won’t swoop in once Briggs officially hits the market on Friday.
For now, though, the Niners aren’t in the mix.
NewsFlash Part II (Pioneer Press):
Pioneeer Press – Sean Jensen, of the Pioneer Press, reporting for AOL Sports, reports unrestricted free-agent LB Lance Briggs (Bears) is expected to sign with the San Francisco 49ers.
This Bears Off-Season will not be at a loss for excitement!