Despite some rocky stretches, perennial Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs look as though he'll finish his entire career with the Bears.
"My dream is to retire a Bear. And I know that I will retire a Bear," Briggs said in a conference call Wednesday. "I'm just excited. I'm so juiced that everything happened fast, and I can prepare for a championship year."
The Bears added a year to Briggs' current deal, which means he's signed through 2014 now. For all intents and purposes, he's on a three-year, $17.5 million contract, with $5 million fully guaranteed, according to a league source.
The website Pro Football Talk first reported the contract terms.
For 2012, Briggs will make an extra $2.25 million, then he's due a $1 million roster bonus in June 2013.
In 2014, Briggs is scheduled to make a base salary of $4.75 million, but that isn't guaranteed. He's also scheduled to receive a $500,000 roster bonus.
"It was a very smooth process," Briggs' agent, Drew Rosenhaus said. "I hate the clichés. But it's a double positive. For Lance, we respect the fact that the Bears did a deal, despite him having two years left. And they appreciate what Lance means to that organization and that, basically, they took the added money and guaranteed.
"It's a very classy move by the team."
Rosenhaus met with new Bears general manager Phil Emery at the NFL Combine, and they agreed to chat again after free agency. At the NFL Owners meeting, Rosenhaus again met with Emery and Bears contract negotiator Cliff Stein, and they accelerated talks.
"I'm grateful. I'm just very appreciative right now, that the work has been recognized and that it got handled as fast as it did," Briggs said.
Not surprisingly, Briggs has been excited about Emery's moves.
"It's like a miracle, with what they've done," Briggs said. "This offseason is extremely aggressive.
I know every team is looking at the moves the Bears have done, and know that we're a contender.
"Would I call us the dream team? No. I would not. But we're a championship caliber team."