Report: Briggs says he will not play for Bears again

LOS ANGELES (TICKER) —It appears Lance Briggs is determined to escape the Windy City.

The two-time Pro Bowl linebacker of the Chicago Bears became disenchanted when the team placed the franchise player designation on him late last month. He apparently has not cooled off.

“I’ve played my last snap for them. I’ll never play another down for Chicago,” Briggs told late Monday. “I am now prepared to sit out the year if the Bears don’t trade me or release me.”

By putting the franchise tag on Briggs, the Bears are obligated to pay him $7.2 million in 2007 - the average salary of the top five players at his position.

The Bears can match any offer Briggs gets or they may receive two first-round picks as compensation.

Briggs, 26, has developed into one of the game’s best linebackers at his weakside position while playing alongside Brian Urlacher, a six-time Pro Bowler who anchors the middle of the Chicago defense.

In helping the Bears reach the Super Bowl for the first time in 21 years, Briggs recorded a career-high 130 tackles to go along with one sack and two interceptions.

A 2003 third-round pick, Briggs has registered 445 tackles, 3 1/2 sacks, six interceptions and three touchdowns in 64 career games.

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Updated Tuesday, Mar 13, 2007