As an NFL fan, this is the one time of year when you're absolutely entitled to feel good about your team. Your boys are probably relatively healthy. You're probably thinking they'll win three or four more games than they actually will. The best possible scenario for the home team seems possible. Even likely.
Which is why you don't need Lance Briggs doing disgusting things to your Cheerios this morning.
Briggs has picked right now, when teams should be coming together before the start of the regular season, to request a trade. The linebacker wants the Bears to give him a new contract. They don't want to. So now, with his agent Drew Rosenhaus helping to pull the strings, Briggs has asked the Bears to set him free. From the Chicago Tribune:
"The Bears made their decision, now I have to make mine," Briggs said. "It's just how the business works. It's not going to take away from what I do on the field. I'm 100 percent a Bear, until I'm not a Bear anymore."
In a way, I think that's true of all of us.
ESPN's Kevin Seifert does a really good job of breaking the situation down. I usually find myself on the side of the players in contract disputes, and on the surface, yes, Briggs is scheduled to be underpaid (but not criminally so) at $3.65 million this season.
However, the six-year contract that Briggs signed three years ago (things got kind of catty then, too) was pretty heavily front-loaded. He made $23 million over the first three years of the contract. The last three years are only worth $13 million. All in all, that's six years and $36 million, which isn't unreasonable at all for Lance Briggs.
He's not going to get the trade he wants, either. He's 30, and he apparently wants big money, and right now, everyone else pretty much already has an idea of what their roster's going to look like. I doubt there are many suitors for him, and even if there are, it's unlikely that they'd play a scheme that fits Briggs as well as Chicago's does.
The timing of this doesn't do the Bears any favors. Briggs isn't going to get what he wants, either. But other than that, well-played, Drew Rosenhaus and Lance Briggs.
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