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Friday, August 22, 2014
Lance Briggs No. 56 in player rankings

By Michael C. Wright
ESPN.com

The NFLRank project rolled into Friday with Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs coming in at No. 56, as ESPN continued to list the top 100 players around the league on offense and defense.

The latest rankings grouped players between Nos. 60 through 51. Charles Tillman checked in at No. 66 in the project on Thursday, while tight end Martellus Bennett made the list on Tuesday with a No. 82 ranking. Defensive end Lamarr Houston became Chicago’s first defender to crack the top 100 (No. 80)

Having earned Pro Bowl recognition on seven consecutive occasions, Briggs finds himself in unique company considering the only Bears with more trips to the league’s annual all-star game since the merger are Mike Singletary (10) and Brian Urlacher (eight).

Interestingly, Briggs ranked one spot above Seattle linebacker Cliff Avril. The Bears face the Seahawks on Friday night at CenturyLink Field in preseason game No. 3.

Briggs played just nine games last season, but finished with 10 stuffs -- a tackle of a rusher for negative yards, according to STATS LLC -- which tied for seventh most in the NFL. Since coming into the league in 2003, Briggs has collected and NFL-high 81 stuffs for 197.5 lost yards.

With 1,501 tackles over his 11-year career, Briggs ranks No. 2 in franchise history behind Urlacher. Briggs moved past Singletary last season, and posted 87 stops despite playing in just nine games.