Agent Drew Rosenhaus has filed a formal request to seek a trade on behalf of Lance Briggs
, the Bears
linebacker told the Tribune.
"The Bears made their decision, now I have to make mine," Briggs said. "It's just how the business works. It's not going to take away from what I do on the field. I'm 100 percent a Bear, until I'm not a Bear anymore."
The six-time Pro Bowl selection recently approached the Bears about a raise, but upper management has not budged. Rosenhaus made the trade request via an email to contract negotiator Cliff Stein.
The Bears had no comment on the issue Thursday, and their stance on the trade request remains unclear. They are about $19.3million below this season's salary cap.
If they were to grant him permission to seek a trade, Briggs and his agent could approach other teams to see if something could be worked out.
Briggs has three years left on his contract and is scheduled to make $3.9 million this season (including bonuses), $4 million in 2012 and $6.5 million in 2013. He signed a six-year, $36 million deal in 2008 after first testing the free-agent market, and the maximum value of the first three years was $21.6 million.
Briggs wants the Bears to restructure his contract in a manner that would increase his salary this season, possibly by flip-flopping the $3.9 million with the $6.5 million in the final year.
Briggs approached the Bears after watching younger, less proven linebackers around the league sign lucrative deals.
In comparison with a pair of top veteran 4-3 outside linebackers -- the Broncos' D.J. Williams
and the Jaguars' Daryl Smith -- Briggs, 30, has a point. Williams has a base salary of $4.9million this season with three years left on his deal, while Smith's base is $4.2million with two years remaining. Both players are 29, and neither has been selected to a Pro Bowl.
General manager Jerry Angelo
declined to discuss Briggs' request when first approached about the matter Saturday. Briggs was willing to wait until after the season before seeking a trade but changed his mind after meeting with Angelo on Sunday