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Lovie Smith: Players aren’t distracted by contracts

Lance Briggs suggested Bears are suffering field from disputes with front office.  |   Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

Lance Briggs suggested the Bears are suffering on the field from disputes with the front office. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: November 21, 2011 10:39AM

Bears linebacker Lance Briggs declined comment after practice Wednesday, a day after suggesting that issues between players and management are affecting on-field performance.

“I don’t know about where we are right now,” Briggs told Comcast SportsNet Chicago. “In the past, things worked themselves out. There’s a transition going on right now in Chicago, players and management not seeing eye to eye. I don’t know where it’s going to go or pan out, especially for a guy like Matt Forte.”

Briggs’ request for an upgrade of his current deal was spurned, as well as his request for a trade. Meanwhile, Forte has also been pushing for a new deal, although, unlike Briggs, he’s on his rookie deal. Safety Chris Harris also asked to be traded Monday but remains with the Bears.

“There is no disconnect here,” coach Lovie Smith insisted, although he acknowledged that a few players were dissatisfied with their contracts.

“But that’s not an issue at all.”

Briggs told Comcast SportsNet that football careers are different from others.

“I think it takes away from wanting to go out on the field and just play,’’ Briggs said. “Football careers are not like normal careers. Very short, could end on any given day.

“It’s a league about what have you done for me lately. And for [players], it’s about getting what you can while you can.”

Harris said discontentment in the locker room is inevitable and that this year is no different than any other.

“They got a job to do, and we got a job to do. It’s impossible to make everyone happy. Guys are going to want things, and if they don’t get it, they’re not going to be happy about it. That’s human nature,” Harris said. “So I don’t know that you can say there’s a disconnect.

“It’s a problem every year. It’s an ongoing issue that will never go away. It’s just the nature of the ­business.”

Quarterback Jay Cutler also downplayed any ­problems.

“We’re all professionals and we know at some point there’s going to be talk about contracts and stuff. It just happens. It’s a business,” Cutler said. “But as long as we still have these guys in meetings and they’re scheduled to play on Sunday, we’re ready to go.”

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