Bears OLB Lance Briggs acknowledged Wednesday that this is probably his final year with the organization.
“I understand this is probably my last year as a Chicago Bear, and this could be the last time I play the Packers,” said Briggs, via the Chicago Sun Times.
“It’s the last year of my deal,” Briggs said. “It’s not like I’m magically going to show up after this year and they’re going to open the gates up for me. I’ve talked to my buddy, [former Bears defensive end] Alex Brown. Those gates are closed when you’re a free agent.”
Briggs, 33, is in the final year year of his three-year, $17.5 million contract that included $8.25 million guaranteed. He’ll make a base salary of $4.75 million for the 2014 season before becoming an unrestricted free agent next March.
Briggs has been hampered by a groin injury in recent weeks, which has limited him to appearing in five games and recording 22 tackles, one interceptions and two pass defenses. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 13 outside linebacker in a 4-3 system.
On the open market, Briggs could find some interest from teams looking for a veteran linebacker, but there is almost no way he’ll come close to his current base salary. In the end, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Briggs sign a one-year contract.