Bears to Come With Briggs Counteroffer

By Howard Bryant
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 2, 2007

The Washington Redskins' proposed trade for Chicago linebacker Lance Briggs will reach a secondary stage today when the Bears are expected to counter the Redskins' offer of the team's sixth overall pick in next month's draft in return for Chicago's 31st pick and Briggs.

During the week, Bears General Manager Jerry Angelo said he would use the weekend to consult with his staff and consider the Redskins' offer for the 26-year-old Briggs, a two-time Pro Bowl weak-side linebacker who has been in a contract dispute with the team since the Bears lost to Indianapolis in the Super Bowl. The dispute centers on Chicago's decision to name Briggs the team's franchise player, which allows it to pay him a one-year contract at $7.2 million. Briggs wants a long-term contract and has threatened to sit out for most of next season if the Bears don't trade him or work out an extension. On Saturday, Angelo said a long-term deal was unlikely, even in the event that Briggs plays in Chicago next season under the franchise tag.

Meantime, the Redskins emerged as the only outside bidder for Briggs at last week's owners' meetings in Phoenix, after a suggestion by Briggs's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, that the Redskins initiate a trade with Chicago.

Though Chicago does not have a ready replacement for Briggs, the deal appears to favor Chicago, according to sources who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of negotiations. However, according to league sources, the Bears want more.

Sources said the Bears will ask the Redskins for a player in addition to the sixth pick, which they likely would trade to stockpile more first-day draft picks. Sources say the Bears could ask for middle linebacker Lemar Marshall, who started the last two seasons but will be a backup with the arrival of London Fletcher. The Bears also might ask the Redskins to part with either linebacker Rocky McIntosh, for whom the Redskins gave up two draft picks to select in the second round of last year's draft, or defensive tackle Kedric Golston, the fifth-round pick who played his way into the starting lineup last year, replacing Joe Salave'a.

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