Teams Entering Briggs Sweepstakes

The longer Washington's trade offer for Lance Briggs sits on the table, the greater the chance it probably dies a slow death. The Bears are wise to hold on to the Pro Bowl linebacker for now because his value could escalate as the NFL Draft nears. Although the Redskins appear to be the most anxious to make a deal, Scout.com has learned that a few more teams have made inquiries.

Veteran NFL scout Tony Pauline has had his ear to the ground regarding the Lance Briggs situation. It appears that a few teams are starting to make a push for the Pro-Bowler, but GM Jerry Angelo is taking his time fielding offers. On top of that, Pauline has noticed that the Bears have been going out of their way to interview outside linebackers leading up the NFL Draft, further suggesting that they are making plans to be without Briggs in 2007.

Here's the latest according to Pauline's sources:

Angelo trying to get more out of the Redskins
The trade offer on the table would send Briggs and the Bears' first-round draft pick – No. 31 overall – to Washington in exchange for the Redskins first-rounder at No. 6. Briggs' representative, Drew Rosenhaus, has been running his mouth to anyone who will listen that this is a good move for both teams, but Angelo is not about to let an agent and a disgruntled player force his hand. According to Pauline, Angelo is also asking for linebacker Rocky McIntosh, Washington's second-round selection a year ago, to sweeten the pot.

McIntosh would be an instant replacement for Briggs and the Redskins actually traded up last year to get him, but owner Daniel Snyder has been known to throw away draft picks like Kleenex.

Bills need to replace Spikes and Fletcher-Baker
Buffalo has been very active in the trade market this offseason, sending tailback Willis McGahee to Baltimore for a slew of draft picks before packaging linebacker Takeo Spikes and quarterback Kelly Holcomb to Philadelphia for defensive tackle Darwin Walker. Linebacker London Fletcher-Baker left for the aforementioned Redskins via free agency, so the Bills have major holes to fill at that position. Pauline has learned that Buffalo is offering their pick in the first round – No. 12 overall – to the Bears for Briggs, although Angelo would have to include another selection in return for that deal to happen.

This potential trade could pick up some steam because Buffalo is coached by former Bears front man Dick Jauron, who Briggs played for as a rookie.

Giants also in need of serious help at linebacker
New York currently has openings at both outside linebacker positions, having cut both LaVar Arrington and Carlos Emmons in the offseason. Antonio Pierce is the only `backer the G-Men have with a legitimate NFL resume, plus their defense was absolutely ravaged by injuries last season. Pauline reports that the Giants have offered their spot in Round 1 – No. 20 overall – to the Bears for the durable Briggs, although this deal would technically have less appeal than the other two according to the draft value chart.

Angelo would probably much rather pick 20th in the first round as opposed to 6th or 12th because of the money involved, but New York will have to offer more for this swap to happen.

John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and Editor in Chief of BearReport.com. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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