Four days before facing the Green Bay Packers, Chicago's seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker told reporters on Wednesday that he isn't certain he'll return for a 13th season with the Bears or anyone else in 2015.
"I understand this is probably my last year as a Chicago Bear, and this could be the last time I play the Packers," said Briggs, per the team's official website.
"It's the last year of my deal. It's not like I'm magically going to show up after this year and they're going to open the gates up for me. I've talked to my buddy, (former Bears defensive end) Alex Brown. Those gates are closed when you're a free agent."
With 167 starts in Chicago, Briggs has far outplayed his third-round draft pedigree from 2003. After securing a starting role just four games into his rookie season, Briggs went on to miss just four starts between 2004 and 2012.
While fellow 2003 draft pick Charles Tillman has strongly hinted at continuing his career with the Bears, Briggs is already talking like a man looking back. If this is the finish line, though, it's fair to wonder if the durable and game-changing defender has an outside shot at Canton.
"I know the reality of it and I'm proud of all the years I've had here. It's been great," Briggs said. "I couldn't have asked for a better situation."
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