Drew Rosenhaus makes a good point.
It’s one of the primary reasons why weak-side linebacker Lance Briggs is expected to be the gem of free agency, or at the very least one of the top players available.
“How often does a three-time Pro Bowler make it to free agency in the prime of his career?’’ Rosenhaus said Tuesday afternoon appearing on ESPN News.
His point is well taken. Briggs is 27 and has missed only two games over the last five seasons. He said last offseason he wanted out of town to escape the shadow of teammate Brian Urlacher. It’s believed the Bears will have to pay a premium to retain his services after Briggs earned $7.206 million this past season when he finished second on the team in tackles.
“It’s going to be exciting for Lance,” Rosenhaus said.
And Rosenhaus didn’t rule out a return to the Bears, either, despite all of the acrimony that has taken place.
“That's really outdated,” Rosenhaus said. “He at many times has said he would love to come back to the Bears. All that's behind him. That was the frustration of being franchised. Lance has no ill feelings toward the Bears and would be very happy to continue his career in Chicago if it turns out that way.”
Of course, no skilled negotiator is going to eliminate a potential bidder.
Free agency begins Feb. 29 and the Bears cannot place the franchise tag on Briggs again this season, meaning he’s just more than six weeks away from realizing his dream on the open market.
Rosenhaus and Briggs went on the offensive last February and March and it effectively killed any chance he had of being traded. The Bears had placed the franchise tag on Briggs and he was unhappy, but there was the possibility he could be signed and traded. Washington was interested in trading the sixth pick in the draft to the Bears for Briggs and the 31st pick.
The reason general manager Jerry Angelo couldn’t do the deal is Briggs spoke out that he would not report to the team and would hold out for the season. Had Angelo gone forward with the trade it would have sent a signal to the locker room that players unhappy with their current situation could navigate their way out of town by complaining loudly.
Angeo has said he would like to have Briggs back also. The Bears are expected to have roughly $20 million in room to operate under the salary cap.
Start counting down to the bidding, the very expensive bidding.