Chicago truly is Second City when it comes to paying linebackers.
Lance Briggs, the three-time Pro Bowl linebacker, and two-time All-Pro choice, wasn’t exactly enthusiastic when he discussed his return to the Bears Sunday evening on a conference call. Briggs agreed to terms on a $36 million, six-year contract that includes $13 million guaranteed Saturday evening.
While it’s not exactly small potatoes when stacking it up to what the New York Jets landed Calvin Pace—the Calvin Pace—with, it’s not in the same ballpark. Pace received a $42 million, six-year contract from the freewheeling Jets (same overall dollar amount and years as receiver Bernard Berrian got in Minnesota). Pace pulls down a $20 million signing bonus and $22 million guaranteed. He will collect $26 million in the first three years of the deal, according to ESPN.com’s Len Pasquarelli.
Briggs is a decorated player. Pace has 38 career starts and had 98 tackles and 6 1/2 sacks last season. He has 14 career sacks. One of the reasons Briggs didn’t get the deal he was aiming for was because he doesn’t rush the passer. He has 5 1/2 career sacks, and it’s not like Pace will be confused with Lawrence Taylor any Sunday soon.
The Jets have spent big, signing offensive linemen Alan Faneca and Damien Woody. They also traded for defensive tackle Kris Jenkins.
More and more the Bears look like they got one of the deals of free agency with Briggs. If anything with a $36 million price tag on it can be classified a deal. Remember, Briggs earned $7.206 million last season and Pace was paid $811,250.