Teammates want Bears to pay out to keep Briggs

Matt Trowbridge

Even his teammates can’t seem to agree whether the Chicago Bears can afford to keep Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs. The Bears are roughly $20 million under the $116 million salary cap for 2008.

“I don’t know. He’s one heck of a player,” defensive end Alex Brown told a crowd of reporters Sunday after Chicago’s 33-25 win over the New Orleans Saints.

“Would you keep him?” defensive tackle Tommie Harris shouted from one locker over.

“No question, I’d keep him,” Brown said. “But for what he is going to require to be kept, it’s going to be hard.”

“There is more than enough money,” Harris interrupted.

“I don’t know how much money the team’s got,” Brown said, “so I don’t know how that stuff works.”

“You know what the salary cap is,” Harris said.

“I know the salary cap goes up a little bit,” Brown said.

“They can afford everybody,” Harris said.

“It will definitely be stretching it thin,” Brown said, trying to sound convinced, “but to keep 55 definitely should be a priority. He is one of the best defensive players in the league. He should be rewarded.”