Lance Briggs once vowed he would never play another down for the Chicago Bears. He keeps negotiating new deals with them, though.
The Bears agreed to a one-year contract extension through 2014 with the Pro Bowl linebacker, keeping one of their cornerstone players happy.
“This was by far the least amount of time I’ve ever had with the Bears trying to [negotiate] a contract,” Briggs said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday.
A source said the new deal basically guarantees about $8 million over the next two years. Briggs, whose six-year, $36 million contract would have expired in 2013, was scheduled to make nearly $4 million next season. Instead, he gets a $3 million bonus upfront, along with a $250,000 workout bonus and $3 million in salary.
His salary for 2013 is $4.5 million, with $2 million guaranteed, and $4.75 million for 2014. The deal includes $250,000 workout bonuses in 2013 and 2014, plus roster bonuses of $1 million and $500,000 for those seasons.
“I’m grateful,” Briggs said. “I’m just very appreciative right now that the work has been recognized and that it got handled as fast as it did.”
Agent Drew Rosenhaus met with new General Manager Phil Emery and lead contract negotiator Cliff Stein at the combine, and they agreed to table the discussions until the Bears addressed other roster needs.
Once they resumed talks, it didn’t take long to reach an agreement.
“It’s a good thing for Lance,” Rosenhaus said. “It’s good for the Bears. It’s nice to see a happy outcome.”
Briggs pushed hard for a new contract at the start of last season, but the Bears wouldn’t budge.
With three years left on a six-year, $36 million contract, General Manager Jerry Angelo basically told Briggs at the time to leave him alone when the linebacker asked for permission to seek a trade if he couldn’t get a renegotiated deal before the season.
Briggs said he thinks they would have reached an agreement even if Angelo had not been fired after an 8-8 finish.
Broncos bring back Bannan
Veteran defensive tackle Justin Bannan is returning to the Denver Broncos. The 11th-year pro signed a free-agent contract with his old club.
Bannan started all 16 games for the Broncos in 2010, his only year with the franchise, before signing last year with St. Louis, where he started 14 games, collecting 35 tackles and one sack.
Drafted by Buffalo after a standout career at the University of Colorado, Bannan has played in 144 NFL games with the Bills, Ravens, Broncos and Rams.
Defensive tackle is one of the Broncos’ biggest areas of need. They lost Brodrick Bunkley in free agency and Ryan McBean faces a drug suspension to start the 2012 season, although he and linebacker D.J. Williams are suing the league to have their six-game punishments overturned.
Giants add offensive tackle
The New York Giants signed veteran offensive tackle Sean Locklear.
The Super Bowl champions announced the move on Wednesday, less than a week before the Giants start their offseason conditioning program. Contract terms were not available.
Locklear has played eight seasons in the NFL, the first seven with Seattle and last year with Washington. The North Carolina State product has started 82 of 105 regular-season games.
Locklear started every game for Seattle in 2005, including its loss to Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl. He started four of eight games with Washington last season.
Jets name Glat president
The New York Jets hired longtime NFL official Neil Glat to be their new president.
Glat worked in the league office the past 15 years, most recently as a senior vice president of corporate development.
With the Jets, his responsibilities will include strategic initiatives, league and club business development and stadium development. Glat starts his new job next month.