Not only is Lance Briggs skipping out on $250,000 by passing on the voluntary offseason program, his absence has caught the attention of the courts.
The Bears’ linebacker is due before Cook County Judge Earl Hoffenberg June 19 to explain why he has left the state without the court’s permission.
Briggs was ordered to get permission to leave Illinois and according to the court has not done that. This following his high-stakes crash on the Edens Expy. last summer when he wrecked his Lamborghini. Briggs called 911 and lied, reporting his vehicle had been stolen. Later, he fessed up to splitting the scene of the accident.
Hoffenberg also wants to look into how Briggs’ community service is coming along. Sneed says he’s completed two of 120 hours thus far. That leaves him with 118 to knock out in the next five months. That means he’s roughly has to do eight-hour days for three weeks to bang it out. So when he returns to the area, football won’t be the only business venture he’ll have to occupy his time.
We’ll see if the team has comment. A message has been left. This can't sit well with the club after handing him a $36 million, six-year contract last month. General manager Jerry Angelo has talked about needing to evaluate character, and said he was comfortable with Briggs after the incident with the Lamborghini.
The Bears have protected themselves in the deal. That is why the club, as the Sun-Times previously reported, delayed the $3.3 million roster bonus in 2010 until June 10. Typically, roster bonuses are paid at or near the start of the league year in March. In this instance, the Bears will not have to make a decision with regards to paying (and keeping Briggs) beyond the second year of the contract until well after free agency and the draft. If the Bears deem it's time to cut ties with Briggs, they'll have opportunity to replace him. At that point, they will be able to cut him loose and turn the $36 million deal (really $35.75 million now) into a two-year, $14.9 million contract.
Perhaps this is the type of thing Angelo was worried about when he insisted on the delayed bonus.
UPDATED: Team spokesman Scott Hagel said the Bears would have no comment on the matter at this point.