Bears notebook: Tommie Harris goes to bat for Briggs
Just add general manager to Tommie Harris' duties, and it wouldn't take long to resolve linebacker Lance Briggs' contract status.
"I know -- it'd be devastating," Harris said when discussing Brigg's "consensus" departure via free agency, as he will be an unrestricted free agent. "I don't know about the consensus. I think you just made that up.
"I think he'll be back here. I think the Bears will do a good enough job. (General manager) Jerry Angelo is excellent at keeping his players here. So I think he'll do a fantastic job of keeping Lance Briggs here, the Pro Bowler that needs to be here. So I think he'll do an excellent job of keeping one of the top NFL linebackers, most prolific players on the Bears' team. I think he'll do a great job.
"They do, they do. They do well on that with their players, so we'll keep the great Lance Briggs in Chicago."
If only it were that simple.
Even Briggs doesn't know where he'll be after this Sunday's regular-season finale at home against New Orleans.
"I could be sad right now and be back in this locker room next year," he said Wednesday at Halas Hall.
Asked that, yes, finally, this could be his last game as a Bear, Briggs displayed a touch of emotion when he softly replied, "Oh, man. I know."
"We don't know," he continued. "Nobody knows what's going to happen. There's a lot of time in the offseason to figure that out. Yeah, it could be" his last game.
Harris doesn't care how much money is involved to keep his teammate.
"There's more than enough money in the NFL to share," he said when asked if signing Briggs might take away some of his future money. "That's just a hoax; don't believe that. They have more than enough to pay everybody. So it's whether they want to or not."
Bears have 'gunslinger'
That's what New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees called Bears quarterback Kyle Orton from their days at Purdue. Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner thinks the term is on target.
"A little bit, more so his rookie year because I went against him (when Turner was Illinois' head coach) and saw him a lot in college, and knew what he was like," Turner said. "I kind of expected that a little more.
"But in his rookie year, he understood his role and where we were, what he needed to do to help us win, and he did a great job of doing it. He does have a little bit of that in him, and that's a good thing. You want a quarterback to have that."
Eyeing the future
Wideout Rashied Davis knows what this Sunday will be -- his team's last game of the season.
"Has it hit me?" he repeated. "See my stuff," he said, pointing to a nearby box he was filling up with possessions from his locker. "I'm packing up.
"What a difference a year makes. Stuff happens. Sometimes you have a good year, sometimes you don't."
Wideout Bernard Berrian (knee), defensive tackle Tommie Harris (knee), tackle Fred Miller (ankle) and corner Nathan Vasher sat out practice. Linebacker Lance Briggs (hip), quarterback Rex Grossman (knee) and defensive tackle Darwin Walker (elbow) participated on a limited basis.
Head coach Lovie Smith said Berrian, Harris and Miller should be available Sunday, but that Vasher "hasn't come around as much as we would have like him to do."
The Bears elevated tight end Fontel Mines from the practice squad to the active roster.
Mines, who has been on the practice squad all season, joined the team as an undrafted free agent from Virginia.
Reed Schreck is the NFL writer for the Rockford Register Star. Contact him at 815-987-1381 or email@example.com.