Recently in Lance Briggs Category

Linebacker Lance Briggs is on ESPN's "NFL Live" right now.

They'll handle a myriad of topics, several non-Bears related, but we'll see what shakes out.

I'd expect him to fully support Brian Urlacher's drive for more dough.

Stay tuned.

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.

Michael Sneed details the situation in today’s edition.

What to do now?

The momentum the Bears had around the combine when they whipped through contracts for quarterbacks Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton, defensive end Alex Brown and tight end Desmond Clark is gone. Long gone.

The man team president Ted Phillips called the “face” of the organization wants more money with four years remaining on his contract. It’s a delicate situation for middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, a former defensive player of the year award winner, made more awkward by the six-time Pro Bowler suggesting he could retire with neck and back ailments. Inside the Bears co-worker Mike Mulligan details the entire situation.

Proving an injury would allow him to keep the $13 million in bonus money he collected after signing his nine-year, $56.65 million extension in 2003. It would prevent him from playing again too. His agents have also dropped the idea that he be allowed to explore a trade. Urlacher has stayed away from the voluntary offseason program which is two weeks old, and has made it known he is willing to pass on mandatory activities otherwise known as minicamp and training camp.

The Bears have never had issue with the performance Lance Briggs has provided on the field. Ultimately, it’s why general manager Jerry Angelo said at the combine that he did not have a problem investing in the three-time Pro Bowl linebacker long term as a core player after he earned more than $7.2 million last season with the franchise tag.

Briggs has been a model of durability, going through the first four seasons of his career without missing a game before hamstring issues sidelined him for 2 1/2 games in 2007. He’s a perfect fit on the weak side in Lovie Smith’s Tampa Two scheme and after signing him to a $36 million, six-year contract, the Bears view him as a fixture for seasons to come.

But they’ve also protected themselves in the future. Briggs’ $3.3 million roster bonus for 2010—the final roster bonus in the deal—does not come due until June 10 of that year. That’s three months after most roster bonuses are paid at or near the start of the league year in March. What it means is the Bears will be able to decide whether or not they want to stay on the hook for the contract, or if they want to cut ties. The key is they will have time to make that decision after free agency and the draft have taken place.