Chicago Sun-Times

Playing for a contract

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CB Nathan Vasher knows what it's like to be on the field playing for a contract. Vasher made it clear he wanted a new deal before last season began, and then went out and put together a solid season. LB Lance Briggs is in the position of having to put together a second contract season to get a big payday -- one that now could come from the Bears if things work out.

"The best thing you can do is just go out there and continue to have a good time,'' Vasher said about being in the position of knowing you have to perform. "I think that’s something that he just continues to do.

"It can be a stressful time, but you never really hear him talk about it, you never really hear him bring it up a whole lot. He just wants to go out there and play. I always feel if you go out there and take care of business, everything else will take care of itself. He keeps going out there and making plays, having 15-tackle performances, he’ll get exactly what he deserves. I’ll be elated for him."

Briggs is in the position of having the support of the locker room. Players unite with players when it comes to issues of money.

"It’s all business," C Olin Kreutz said. "We don’t even think about [Briggs' offseason remarks}. It’s between him and the organization as far as I am concerned. He will always be my teammates until he’s wearing another uniform."

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The Bears should bring Briggs into the fold. He is a major force and with Urlacher looking like he's lost a step this year, Lance has a chance to become THE leader on defense.

While Urlacher gets more publicity than Briggs and is an immensely talented player in his own right, Briggs has proven to be Urlacher's equal or better in many areas of the game. Letting him go while he is entering his prime years would be a huge mistake by the Bears organization. Two words come to mind: Wilbur Marshall.

Brandon McGowan was all over the field against Detroit, but during the Packers game his number was rarely called. Why? Because nobody made it past the vacuum, Hoover Model #55. Lance Briggs not only was quietly the most valuable player in the game (no telling what may have happened without some key stops), but I have to believe he is currently the best player on the Bears. As versatile and important as Urlacher is, Lance is almost unblockable and irreplacable. 55 IS greater than 54!

Pay the man Bears!

Contract and cap problems are confusing at best. I think Briggs is a key player on defense, but are there more pressing needs? I still think Rex is the quarterback of the future, and given a choice of one or the other,I'm not sure which way I would go, which probably makes me a minority of one. Briggs has been around longer, but which one played in the Super Bowl his first full season, admittedly partially due to Briggs. I hope the Bears sign both of them.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on October 10, 2007 8:08 PM.

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