Bears Want Briggs, but Not a Long Contract

Sunday, April 1, 2007

The standoff between Lance Briggs and the Chicago Bears took another turn after General Manager Jerry Angelo said he wants Briggs, a Pro Bowl linebacker, to come back next season but that a multiyear contract is unlikely.

"I'm not ruling it out 100 percent, but in all probability, that's not likely to happen," Angelo said during the team's fan convention in Chicago.

The Bears and Briggs have been at odds since the team slapped the franchise player tag on him in mid-February.

Briggs threatened to sit out the season. Then agent Drew Rosenhaus said his client would sit out the first 10 games and report for the final six to qualify as serving one year as a franchise player.

Meantime, the Washington Redskins offered the sixth pick in the draft for Briggs and the Bears' No. 31 selection.

"We'll digest what they offered Monday and we'll go from there," Angelo said, adding that no other team has made an offer.

Chicago would owe Briggs about $7.2 million next season -- the average of the top five salaries at his position and approximately 10 times what he earned in 2006. But the franchise player tag makes it difficult for Briggs to market himself to other teams. Briggs made it clear in early March that he was unhappy with the label. Angelo believes Briggs really feels that way and isn't being put up to it by Rosenhaus. . . .

Dan Wilkinson failed to report to the Denver Broncos, so the trade with the Miami Dolphins was declared void. The Broncos sent a sixth-round pick to the Dolphins on March 2 for Wilkinson, a 14-year veteran defensive tackle.

· SKIING: Bode Miller won the Super-G at the U.S. Alpine Championships in Girdwood, Alaska, tying the men's record with the ninth national title of his career.

Afterward, he was typically unsentimental, saying he was just slightly better through the most difficult part of what he described as a relatively unchallenging course.

"I make a lot of mistakes. I think I sort of sometimes pay for them a little less than other guys," Miller said.

Miller joins Dick Durrance and Tiger Shaw for the most titles at the U.S. championships.

· TENNIS: By the third game, Serena Williams was flailing her arms in frustration. Two games later, she threw her racket. Then she screamed at herself.

For Williams, the transformation came in the nick of time. She survived a dismal start and erased two championship points in the second set to win the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Fla., beating top-ranked Justine Henin, 0-6, 7-5, 6-3.

"It's just not in me to give up," Williams said during the trophy ceremony.

· SOCCER: A hat trick by Peter Crouch-- he scored with his left foot, right foot and on a header -- powered Liverpool to a 4-1 victory over Arsenal. "It's a special moment," Crouch said. "The win was the most important thing, but I'm so pleased with the hat trick."

Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillett and Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks, who completed their takeover of Liverpool this week, watched from the stands.

Manchester United rallied to beat Blackburn, 4-1, with goals from Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick, Park Ji Sung and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer. The only bad news was that star defender Nemanja Vidic is out for five weeks with a broken collarbone.

Chelsea remained six points behind Manchester United after a 1-0 win over last-place Watford.

· RUNNING: Ethiopian Teferi Bacha won his first race in the U.S., edging two Kenyans in the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10K in Richmond. Bacha finished in 28 minutes 29 seconds, the second-fastest time in the event's eight-year history.

· CRICKET: Glenn McGrath of Australia became the most successful bowler in World Cup history after he claimed two wickets to surpass the mark of former great Wasim Akram of Pakistan. Playing in his last international event, McGrath, 37, reached 56 wickets.

"When you're playing long enough you're going to get a record here or there but Wasim Akram to me is one of the best bowlers of all time," McGrath said after Australia beat Bangladesh by 10 wickets.

-- From News Services

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