Three years ago, I wrote about how I awakened to rumors of an Urlacher trade. I wasn't happy with how Angelo and the McCaskey's were treating their players and chastised the administration for bumbled drafts and mottos that didn't match the product on the field. However, the Briggs situation is much different.
There's two schools of thought on this matter. One side believes that Briggs signed his name to a new contract 3 years ago and should honor it. The other side believes that being named to 6 consectutive Pro Bowls constitutes a situation where he "outplayed his contract," thus entitiling him to a new deal. As much as it pains me to do it, I must agree with Bears management on this one. Briggs should suit up and shut up.
The fact that this situation has arisen 9 days before the opener against ATL leads me to believe this controversey is more a strategy of his agent, the evil Drew Rosenhaus, than perhaps Briggs himself. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that proprosing this ultimatium so close to the opener puts the Bears' backs against the wall and basically threatens the season's success as blackmail for a bigger deal. Some will undoubtedly say, "that's just the business side of the game, man." Well, it sucks, and if this type of arguable retaliation becomes more commonplace as a result of the lockout, we're in for (a lot) more of the bs in the years to come.
As for the team, the Defense WILL take a huge hit if Briggs doesn't play this year, I can tell you that right now. Perhaps not a fatal hit as we witnessed when Urlacher was out for an entire season with a broken hand, but it's gonna hurt. The secondary is already suspect with its own issues; consistency at the linebacker position is needed to buy time until that situation is taken care of.
I can only hope to a swift resolution of this dispute for the team's sake, but I sincerely hope the Bears Front Office doesn't cave on this one, whereby setting an example for the rest of the teams in the league. Our country doesn't negotiate with terrorists, why should the Bears be taken hostage by a scumbag like Rosenhaus?