The fate of the Chicago Bears revamped defense may hinge on the health of 12-year veteran Lance Briggs whose absence int he lineup last year was a devastating blow for the “Monsters of the Midway.”
Chicago’s once-dominant defense has taken on a new look with a number of new names and faces on the roster as stars like Brian Urlacher and Julius Peppers have been let go in back-to-back offseasons that has also seen the former architect of one of the top units of the past decade, Lovie Smith, find new work, but Briggs has been the constant.
Briggs enters the final year of his contract as one of two defensive holdovers (Charles Tillman) from the Super Bowl team in 2006, so could this year be the last one in Chicago for Briggs?
“I’m not talking about a contract. I’m talking about playing football,” Briggs tells ESPNChicago.com. “I just want to play football. I’ve seen a lot of guys come and go. I’m here. I’m happy. I’m just appreciative.”
Business decisions are going to be made in the coming months and if Briggs has a second injury-plagued season, he very well may need to look elsewhere to get the type of deal he wants, even with a questionable linebacker corp outside of Briggs.
Despite the questions about his future beyond this year, Briggs is sure of one thing. He’s a Bear and wants to retire as one.
“The only time I might not retire as a Bear was the time when I said I’d never put on a Bears’ uniform again,” Briggs said. “And I haven’t said that again since that time. So, of course [I want to retire as a Bear].
“I’m a Bear. I’m a true Bear. This is Year 12. I’ve given my blood, sweat and tears and my heart to the city and playing for this team. When it’s all said and done, I’ll retire a Bear.”