BOURBONNAIS, IL - JULY 30: Lance Briggs #55 of the Chicago Bears greets new teammates during a summer training camp practice at Olivet Nazarene University on July 30, 2011 in Bourbonnais, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
New Bears general manager Phil Emery made another important move to help Chicago toward a championship. He signed Lance Briggs to a one-year contract extension, which will keep him a Bear through 2014, when he's 34 years old.
“We’re very excited for Lance and for the Bears,” said general manager Phil Emery via press release. “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 has been a key part of the Bears defense for nine seasons. He has led the Bears in tackles for the past three out of four seasons, and was named to seven Pro Bowl teams. His steady presence has helped the Bears have a dominant defense even when Brian Urlacher was injured, the secondary faltered, or the pass rush was less than impressive.
Just before last season began, Lance Briggs threatened a holdout and asked for a trade because he wasn't happy with his contract. Though he wasn't traded and went on to have another Pro Bowl season, it still cast doubts on his happiness in Chicago. Extending his contract well before the season starts is a smart move because it takes one potential problem off of Emery's place.