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Monday, August 29, 2011
Mike Ditka: No raise for Lance Briggs

ESPNChicago.com

Mike Ditka said the Chicago Bears would be foolish to give Lance Briggs a raise with three years left on his contract.

A source told ESPNChicago.com's Michael C. Wright that Briggs' agent Drew Rosenhaus recently approached the Bears about restructuring his deal in order to boost his base pay this season. The Chicago Tribune, which first reported the news, quoted Briggs saying his contract issues won't be a team distraction.

While Bears general manager Jerry Angelo refused to comment on the situation, Ditka -- a former Super Bowl champion coach for the Bears -- was candid.

"You can't do it," Ditka said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" Monday on ESPN 1000. "I mean you just can't do it. The Bears aren't going to do it. Anybody in their right mind wouldn't do it. If you do it, you're a fool."

Ditka said it would set a bad precedent for the Bears to give in to Briggs.

"To me, somewhere you have to draw a line in the sand," Ditka said. "That's my feeling. If every player who comes in and says they want a raise, you're going to give him a raise? You're going to run out of money.

"When you sign a contract, you have an obligation. It says, 'OK, we're going to pay you this much, you're going to sign the contract.' Now all of a sudden you play for a while the contract is no good anymore? Stop it. When the contract is over, then you go in and ask for a raise."

Brian Urlacher received a one-year extension with a $6 million signing bonus and $1 million bump annually for four years in 2008.

"In the case of Urlacher, I don't know if I agree with it there, either," Ditka said. "But you're right, he is the face of the franchise. And unfortunately, Lance isn't.

"Lance is a good football player. I'm not knocking his talent, he's a great football player, but then again, that's what a contract is."