Chicago Sun-Times

Dollars and sense II: Briggs & Berrian deals

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The six-year contract for three-time Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs stacks up as it was announced last week with $21.6 million of the $36 million payable in the first three seasons. Briggs’ contract will place him in the top 10 at his position in the league and he will pocket more in 2008 than he did with the $7.206 million franchise tag in 2007. Agent Drew Rosenhaus asserts it made Briggs the highest-paid weak-side linebacker in the game.

For those curious about shopping the Bears have left to do in free agency, and the ramifications of Briggs’ deal on the club’s ability to do extensions with defensive tackle Tommie Harris and returner Devin Hester, Briggs will count less than $5.5 million vs. the salary cap this season.

A breakdown of the contract:


$4 million signing bonus
$3.75 million roster bonus
$805,000 base salary
$250,000 workout bonus

Total: $8,805,000
Cap number: $5,471,667


$4.75 million roster bonus
$1.1 million base salary
$250,000 workout bonus

Total: $6,100,000
Cap number: $6,766,667


$3.3 million roster bonus
$3.145 million base salary
$250,000 workout bonus

Total: $6,695,000
Cap number: $7,361,667


$3,650,000 base salary
$250,000 workout bonus

Total: $3,900,000
Cap number: 4,566,667


$3,750,000 base salary
$250,000 workout bonus

Total: $4,000,000
Cap number: $4,666,667


$6,250,000 base salary
$250,000 workout bonus

Total: $6,500,000
Cap number: $7,166,667

The numbers are also in on the deal for freshly minted Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Bernard Berrian. They add up to the reported $42 million over six seasons with $23 million payable in the first three years of the deal. It’s believed that Berrian’s $5 million signing bonus could be deferred, as well as portions of an $8 million roster bonus that is to be paid this year.

A breakdown of the contract:


$5 million signing bonus
$8 million roster bonus
$605,000 base salary
$100,000 workout bonus

Total: $13,705,000*** money from the signing bonus and roster bonus is deferred through 2009 and 2010


$3 million roster bonus
$2.395 million base salary
$100,000 workout bonus

Total: $5,495,000


$3.7 million base salary
$100,000 workout bonus

Total: $3,800,000


$3.9 million base salary
$100,000 workout bonus

Total: $4,000,000


$6.9 million base salary
$100,000 workout bonus

Total: $7,000,000


$7.9 million base salary
$100,000 workout bonus

Total: $8,000,000

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my prediction ... briggs will be released before the last year of his contract. that cap number really swells in the last year.

I was just thiking that maybe we should hold a donut day for all of these football players. I find it interesting that we worry about keeping someone that can't seem to make over 7,000,000 dollars and then say how he's doing it so his family can be taken care of must live in a different country then I do. Think about it how many of you out there will ever make that kind of money in a life time, I'd have to say very few. I'm not just picking on Brigg's I think he's a great player but it's a GAME. How many of you get paid alot of money to do what ou want to do and if you do is it a GAME. All of the sports have just gotten way out of control, we have people that can't have a hot meal, children without not only a home but a mother & father and we worry that we might lose a player in a GAME, sad to see the world that we now all live in.

I agree it is very disturbing where our world is today. The fact is tomorrow could be any players last play. Not too mention taxes on 3.5 mill, uh I'll let you do the math. My point is nothing adds up. Just like the government takes from us thousands every year basically leaves us with nothing. How many people in this country don't have healthcare. So it all adds up, hey just like your employer doesn't want to pay high premiums for your healthcare the NFL isn't any different. Truth is after Briggs and berrian are done with careers they're both on there own as with Many players. High contracts are insurance policys. Just look at the majority of players that are consistently injured have big contracts. Look at tommie harris. He's been banged up the last 2 season and now wants big money.

Jerseyboy, boo-hoo-hoo. There are men and women fighting a war in foreign countries who risk life and limb and they will never see figures close to what these pro-athletes are making. Nor will they experience the fame or the endorsement contracts. The same can be said for firemen and police officers. Don't feel sorry for these guys. They get enough money. If they don't know how to save it for when an emergency occurs, that's their problem.

Mike, what your saying is not wrong but let's be honest here. These guys are playing the greatest sport known to man arguable.. The revnue the NFL generates on these players are in the billions.

Devin Hester, has been in the league 2 years now. How much money has the NFL made of his spectacular plays. Well is about the market and if the owners and the league your in are making money why shouldn't the players.

About the men and women thing losing limbs and such. I feel bad for them. However, what does that have to do with people making money here. i'm sorry but no one forced them to go overseas and they are fighting a war that should have never been waged anyway. i hate when people say oh they're fighting for us so we can have food and water and shelter. man stop talking garbage. I don't see anyone sending bombs over here. I don't see invaders coming to our country to steal our assests. I don't see our men, women and children being mistreatend. so please don't bring politics in the matter. Take some history classes learn a little and then come on here to debate.

well they get paid a lot because few people can do what they do. Teachers and cops and figher fighters should get paid more but a lot of people can do what they do. It seems backward but makes sense. A football player may not be as valuable to society as a teacher but very few people can be as fast and as big as they are. so it seems to make sense to me

If anyone should get the money we waste on tickets and merchandise it should be the players. Just look how expensive it is to go to a game, buy some Bears sweater, jacket or jersey. Just ridiculous.
Ultimately the players are performers and we pay to see them so.. this is what you get a bunch of people getting paid way too much money to play a game.

"i hate when people say oh they're fighting for us so we can have food and water and shelter. man stop talking garbage. I don't see anyone sending bombs over here. I don't see invaders coming to our country to steal our assests. I don't see our men, women and children being mistreatend. so please don't bring politics in the matter. Take some history classes learn a little and then come on here to debate." - Jerseyboy

LOL, I dunno where that rant came from but it had nothing to do with what I wrote. I also think you missed what "Anonymous" was saying. Anyway, these guys chose to play football. Much like professional skateboarders choose their profession or "pro" wrestlers did. They do it b/c 1.) It's a game, it's fun to do. 2.) The market allows for them to have a high salary. The NFL may get billions, but it's not like the players get chump change.

Again, if they say, want to risk it away by crashing an expensive sports car in to a lamp post, tough luck. They're living a dream life. No complaints.

Well the players are over paid, the owners make way to much money. And the fans pay for everything and get treated rather bad. What are ticket prices now they have gone up what 9% over two years, the bears said they had to do this to stay competative. We are 32 mil under the cap our team was 7-9 and last I checked Virginia and the kids where not hurting for cash. I mean we have paid enough money to this team to make Virg and the kids a Billion dollar + family and we have made a lot of players real rich. So umm where is the fan love, we made the team, we pay bills and we deserve a Winner, a franchise QB, a regular playoff contender, and we are not getting it. People are coming down on the players who make a combined fifth what the owners make and we sit there going it's the owners money they can spend it how they want. Well guess what it's not there money it's our money and they should do right by the fans. 2 Super bowls in 40 years with one win, thats a joke. We are a top 8 franchise we should be acting like it.

The funny thing about society is no matter what you do for a living the owner or the boss always think you are over-paid. Look at who balked at raising minumum wage? I don't see a cheering section at any high school for any teacher. Nor have I ever seen a pep rally for any teacher. No school has even had a teacher bring in millions of dollars from anything they did. It starts very early with worshipping atheletes. Why do people whine about why players are overpaid and then go out and spend money on tickets or buy jerseys. If it wasn't Briggs or Urlacher someone would be making money playing. When we had no superstars to speak of we still had sell-out games at Soldier field. Matter of fact they've sold out every game even when we were having back to back losing seasons. Did they refund fans for not having a team or anyone specific to cheer for? And I never once had anyone thank me for serving-not once- when I was in the Army. I got nothing for free or for half price except when I was in Germany. They would give us free McDonalds every once in a while so our presense would keep the Mofar gangs from acting up. No kidding. Mofar was a biker gang who drove mopeds. Free in Germany nothing free in America... Still haven't gotten thank you even from the government who give the worst medical assistance to veterans in the free world. V.A., what a joke.

So how much room are the bears under the cap at this point? They started out with around 30 mill under so i would think they should still have a healthy amount of coin to work with.

what do you guys think of the seahawks wr DJ Hacket (SP) he was injured this season and had to be the 3rd read with the hawks wr's. I feel this would allow us to focus on more concerning needs in draft 2 o-line, rb, QB in 1st 4 picks in that order.

love to know what you think

Go Bears!!

OK Just Sign Harris and Hester,Save some money for next year cause there will be some big free agents and better QB's in the draft next year.This Year draft an OT in the first and a OG in the sec rd and a RB in the third the rest dont matter.But as you and i said before Crieghton, Angelo will draft a saftey or DT !!!!

If a safety or DT is the best option, they should take him, especially if Phillips is available in the first round.

The problem last year -- more than anything else -- was tackling.

If they can get some competent guys to help upfront and in the D backfield, they could get this team back to where it was a couple of years ago defensively.

And as we saw in 2005, it doesn't matter how lame the offense is so long as the D is stout.

first off i agree that the wages in sports are way out of control, especialy on rookies!!! rookies havnt proven themselves yet, but they still get the really big money. the owners need to pay the players who have proven themselves first. i know i said wages were nuts, BUT, if you were in there shoes playing the same game you would want to get paid too. you have to look at there point of view too. it wouldnt be fair for all those players out there not to get there piece of the pie. look at how much a franchise makes a year, and theyre not the ones suffering with injuries, short term and long term. since nothing will ever go down in price and pay and only up, im kinda curious how much players will be making in 10 years.

As long as they take this extra room and lock up Tommie and Devin, I am quite all right with this deal. If we lock up both of them, we would basically have 4 dominant players at their positions in the mix for the long haul in Hester, Harris, Briggs, and Urlacher. If you consider Kreutz (as long as we get him some help), we are extraordinarily strong up the middle, and Hester is probably the most dynamic open field playmaker we have had since Gale Sayers. Not a bad foundation for a team for the next 5 or 6 years. I would also like them to re-up Urlacher, and front load the deal so that if his neck or back continue to deteriorate, we will have some cap flexibility in 3 or 4 years. I don't expect that it will become a real problem, but having some insurance wouldn't hurt. If we make the up front money roster bonuses instead of a signing bonus, we take the hit in the same year, but we don't have the cap liability over the length of the contract. Cliff Stein is very good at not mortgaging the future for the present, so this should be no trouble.

I see people constantly saying that the Bears are 32 million under the cap and we should be spending that and spending it now! I think a lot of that cap space will be gone by the time training camp starts. Briggs coming back had to cut that cap number down some. Booker and Lloyd take some of that, but very little from what I have seen. Extending Harris and Hester will definitely eat into it, and if they rework Urlacher's contract, that will likely take away more of that cap space too. Then you have the contracts for draft picks. The first and second round choices will take some of it, the rest of the draft picks will also take some, but not as significant an amount as the first two picks. Then there could be a couple more free agent signings, either before camp or after a round or two of preseason cuts, so that cap space could dry up by opening day. If Orton or Grossman pans out as a consistent starter, then there will be a contract for them, probably next year, that will take more from the cap. Personally, I am cautiously optimistic with the way things have progressed so far during the offseason and am anxious to see how we do in the draft.

Joe is a guy that know the other side of football.The Buisness side.I for one had learned the Buisness side.Not Every Top Teir Free Agent will fit in the system,A big percent of the Free Agents that are proven,Have already peaked and still looking for big year big money contracts.Its a risky buisness.Teams fall in love with a player because of his past accomplishments or ability some times get burned a year or two down the line.The Bears have experimented in that field and had to let go of some players that cost the Bears some money.
It gives me the understanding that a team that signs a bunch of high priced free agents has no confidence in their own players and their drafting.
If the Bears do sign Tommy and Devin that will give the Bears another 2 players that would be Highly touted Free Agents.
In the past the Bears have sured up some players that would have been high on some teams list of needs.
Players like Kruetz, Tillman,Vasher,Urlacher,Alex Brown,Mike Brown (even though he was injured the last couple of years at the time he signed a extension he played 16 games)Hillenmyer, and even though getting Wally through a trade they didnt need to restucture his contract they did.
Thats 8 players that they have signed before they could even hit the Free Agentcy.And Im sure that a majority of the teams out there would love to have anyone of those quality players on their team.And we All know that Hester being who he is, would fit on any of the other 31 teams.Tommy Harris my Opionin when 100% is the Best at his possition hands down.That dude is a FREAK!So much of a FREAK that in the Cheifs game, He was so quick that he jumped offsides to swipe the ball out of the centers hands without being seen by the officials.The Chiefs were on the 2 yard line I believe I could be wrong.And that was with a soar Hammy that was reatached less then a year ago.
Jerry A. has been the Best in the NFL in retaining his Pro Bowl Calliber players.As for Tillman he is probably the most underrated Defencesive player on the Bears and probably the most underrated CB in the NFL.Lets not bring up all the Steve Smith Talks and how Tillman got burned in the Playoffs in 05, because Smith has made every CB look foolish.As far as an All around CB Tillman is the Best the Bears have.The dude can tackel like a strong safty,strip the ball like a linebacker(BEST CB in the NFL at striping the ball)and can defend the run!When Vikings Peterson was running all over the Bears,Tillman came from the other side of the field to try to catch up to A.P. . If you look at the tapes of the 1st game the Viking were running up the middle on Walkers and Andersons side.Also Hunters side.They attacked the weakest area of the Chicago Bears Defence.Also the Bears staff kicked to Petterson and Petterson Burned the Bears on those kickoffs.Didnt score but sure gave the Viking good field possition.Shouldnt have done that after Greise led the Bears on a 98 yard drive.

People when talking about the Bears could you fans stop saying "WE" when refering to the Bears.Last time I checked none of you are a part of the Bears besides being Fans.None of us are signed to any contract with the Bears.It sound cheap and Lazy.I can see a Greenbay residents saying "WE" when refering to the Packers.Thats because if you live in Greenbay and pay property tax then they the Greenbay Packers say that they the tax payers are a part of the team.Weird I know but thats what they say.

Pay the NFL football players, they are the sports stars that really deserve it. How many great or even not so great players have come into the NFL and are out even in their first season sometime with tremendous physical problems that may stay with them their entire lives; such as being perilized, concussions, broken bones of all sorts, etc. Some of the old timers can hardly walk due to the injuries they sustained in football. Its the crybaby baseball players that need a pay cut and reality check, not the football players. The football players deserve all that they can make as long as they give something back to the game and to the fans that support them.

Prediction Bears win Superbowl in 2009.


Lets see last I checked the fans paid for the Bears to exist. Now the State owns the Stadium and the state represents the people many of which are fans. The fans buy the tickets and everything else that pays for everything withing the organization and without fans the Bearts would not exist. So I think if the fans want to say WE than thats ok. After all sense we pay for it, I think WE is ok to say if a fan wants. Of course if they don't want to they don't have to either Brando. I think people in this country have earned the right to make that choice for themselves though.

Boy some people sure do love to try and tell everyone what to do and say. How to speak, what they can talk about. Good thing we have a little something known as the US Constitution that allows us that little something called freedom of speech. You know what is really funny about the Constitution? The Preamble, it sarts with "WE THE PEOPLE". Can you imagine the nerve of the founding fathers, using the word WE, who did those clowns think they where. They should have checked with Brando for permission first.

Anonymous March 12 5:26pm.Hey Good point.High impact sport and these guy are getting stronger and faster.

Man if it wasnt for Tommy Waddle Ol number 87 getting knocked out many of times, he might have played maybe a 1/2 a year longer.
If anyone remembers Tom Waddle was traded to the Brown for a late round pick(If I find more info I will post it).Then Tom Waddle retired from the NFL.Doing that, Tom Waddle is now and forever a Chicago Bear.Because Tom Waddle retired the Chicago Bears never recieved that late round pick.

Dude, Creighton you are on fire. "We" exactly.

Wow this is the best comment I ever seen about the bears defense. "The Vikings where running up the middle on Walker and Andersons side. Also Hunters side" Wow so what your saying is the Viqueens attacked the right side of the Bears defense, the left side of the bears defense and the middle of the defense, so basically every side of the defense using Peterson. Wow what insight.

Wow I got one Peterson is a really good running back, he did what ever he wanted to do to the Bears in that game. He made the bears speedy defense look really slow. But hey maybe Mike Brown will be healthy for a game, and I am sure he will stop him.

Now Brando don't forget to write an Anonymous response to what I said. You can mention how great you think you are in it and how evil I am. Then you can go on and have a nice long conversation with yourself. Issues dude, major, major issues.

last word!

The Bears did it!!! Didn't anyone hear the breaking news????? I heard Angelo talked to God, got him to allow Jack Concannon to re-sign with the Bears!!!!!!! Angelo scoffed at my surprise and told me 'If you think that was great, I was thisclose to resigning Gary Huff to a Multiyear deal, but the Home he was currently residing in finally resigned him for 1st string Bingo caller on Thursday nights.....' Apparently, Huff was also given a $25,000 bonus for Depends that the Bears refused to offer.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 11, 2008 6:46 AM.

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