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Bears extend LB Lance Briggs' deal through 2014 season

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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The Chicago Bears have agreed to a one-year contract extension with Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs through the 2014 season, the team announced Tuesday.

Briggs said he was grateful and appreciative that his work was being rewarded but the team will still need to go out and prove it is a contender.

"On paper we’re very talented," Briggs said Wednesday. "Very, very talented. I think on paper we can compete with anyone. Would I call us the dream team? No I would not, but I would say we’re a championship-caliber team. Potentially, you know, potentially. We need to go out and turn the paper into a reality."

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Briggs' new contract is worth a total of $17.5 million over three years and includes more than $8.25 million in new guarantees, according to NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora.

Briggs was set to make $4 million this season and $6.25 million in 2013, with his future with the Bears beyond 2012 seemingly somewhat in doubt. Under the new deal Briggs will make $6.25 million guaranteed in all in 2012, which includes a $3 million signing bonus, $3 million base salary and a $250,000 workout bonus.

In 2013 he will make $5.75 million, including a $1 million roster bonus, $4.5 million base salary and a $250,000 workout bonus. In 2014 he would make a total of $5.25 million.

Briggs pushed hard for a new contract at the start of last season, but the Bears wouldn't budge. With three years left on a six-year, $36 million contract, former general manager Jerry Angelo basically told Briggs at the time to leave him alone when the linebacker asked for permission to seek a trade if he couldn't get a renegotiated deal before the season. Angelo was fired after an 8-8 finish and replaced by Phil Emery.

"We're very excited for Lance and for the Bears," Emery said in a statement released by the team. "Lance has been a very valuable and productive member of our team; seven straight Pro Bowls is quite a record of success. This is a very positive step for our team in our efforts to win championships."

Briggs started all 16 games for the Bears last season and recorded 105 tackles and an interception.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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