Between the whines with Bears’ Lance Briggs
RICK MORRISSEY firstname.lastname@example.org September 6, 2011 9:46PM
Lance Briggs (left) is in the midst of a six-year, $36 million deal that has given him about $16 million in bonuses — but it’s not enough. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: November 16, 2011 1:30AM
What Lance Briggs said Monday and what he was really thinking:
‘‘If management says they’re not willing to talk about my deal or willing to deal with my deal now or during the season or during the end of the season or next year, then I know my days here are numbered.’’
The retirement talk is real, people! I could spend the next 50 years antiquing, cake decorating or mall-walking and be perfectly happy.
‘‘Since I signed the deal, have I not lived up to the contract?’’
The Bears need to reward me for the astounding accomplishment of having lived up to the first three years of a six-year, $36 million contract that included about $16 million in bonuses I have already received. Think of it like a prison sentence (which it is). I deserve time off for good behavior. Most people would have demanded a new deal after Year 1. Those people sicken me.
‘‘The main ingredient here is . . . to get something, to have management that’s willing to even talk.’’
The phrase ‘‘to get something’’ — I’d like to have that one back. It sounds greedy. I’d replace it with, ‘‘The main ingredient here is . . . to have a conversation.’’ What’s more human than the need to communicate with one another? I’d like to communicate to the Bears that the $250,000 roster bonus I received this season is measly and looks undernourished.
‘‘It’s nothing personal. I understand the business. That’s the business side. It’s ugly. That’s the way it goes. I’m going to go out here and play football, and as long as I’m a Bear, I’m going to give it my all.’’
I’m not going to lie to you. It feels very, very personal. It feels like the Bears are telling me I’m worth $3.65 million in base salary this season. And it doesn’t feel good. I’d like a new deal that would feel more ‘‘Lance-friendly.’’
‘‘I didn’t wake up and say I don’t like it here, I want out. I’m not a snap-decision type of person, so it was long and thought out. I ran out of options.’’
I woke up and said, ‘‘Now what did I do with that $16 million I made in bonuses? It was just here a minute ago.’’
‘‘Nothing changes out on the practic e field. We go out there, and we get coached, and I get coached and I l earn and I get ready for our oppone nt.’’
Though this linebacker reserves the right to hold out at any time.
‘‘Do you think it’s a fair deal now? If I play at X amount of money and then this year I’m asked to play for half of that, my play doesn’t decrease.’’
Wait until I get my hands on the evil impersonator who signed that contract in 2008!
‘‘I have every right to go in and ask — and ask — for a raise or, in this case, to at least flip the years. There’s nothing wrong with that. From the business side, there’s nothing wrong with that.’’
While I’m at it, there’s nothing wrong with asking — asking — the federal government to give me back the tax money I’ve already paid.
‘‘Football players don’t retire when they’re 65 years old.’’
No, many retire much younger and with the kind of money most Americans can only dream about. But you didn’t hear that from me.
‘‘What we’re trying to do is creatively try to think of some way, any way [to alter the contract] — whether it be this year, whether it be next year, whether it be moving into the future — but there’s no negotiating. So I have to make a decision.’’
I ask my fellow Americans: Who among us can be against creativity? The Bears and I need to be in a partnership with a common goal of creating new wealth for me.
‘‘In the NFL, there are no guaranteed contracts. If I under-perform, the owners will cut me. They have the right to cut me at any time. They can cut me right before I’m supposed to get a bonus in March.’’
And it somehow follows that I should get more money now because the Bears can cut me later? I’m not even sure I understand what I’m trying to say here.
‘‘We have every right to ask for a renegotiation, to ask for a trade or to hold out.’’
And short of threatening to run away from home, I’ve exercised my right to threaten just about everything. The Bears have said no to everything I’ve suggested/demanded/begged. So I’ve decided to go public with this in the hopes that, through some miracle, the franchise will discover a philanthropic side it didn’t know it had. Call me crazy, but I really like my chances!