One Less Team Gunning for Briggs

Since the deal with Washington for Lance Briggs fell through, experts have been trying to find the Bears a new trade partner. The Giants and Bills have apparently shown interest, but neither team has made a genuine effort to pursue the Pro-Bowler. Another team with possible holes at linebacker looked to be in the running, but according to Scout.com's Tony Pauline, they will not make an offer.

If the Chicago Bears are still looking to trade Lance Briggs before the NFL Draft, it appears they now have one less team potentially interested.

Scout.com's Tony Pauline is reporting that the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team rumored to be looking at linebackers with their first-round pick, will not make a play for Briggs. Pauline spoke to a source inside the organization on Monday and asked if they might inquire about the two-time Pro-Bowler. But according to the Jaguars, their apparent needs at LB have been greatly exaggerated.

Mike Peterson, the brother of Bears backup runing back Adrian Peterson, started the 2006 season at middle linebacker but played only five games due to injury. Daryl Smith moved to MLB after Peterson went down and led the team with 89 tackles (73 solos). The Jacksonville organization was so impressed with Smith last year that they rewarded him with a contract extension through 2012.

Smith will stay in the middle this coming season with Peterson moving back to his original position at weakside linebacker. The wild card in all this is Clint Ingram, an `06 draft pick that Jack Del Rio and the Jaguars coaching staff loves. Ingram is slated to start on the strong side.

With Washington also asking for the Bears' pick at 31st overall in exchange for their pick at No. 6, GM Jerry Angelo balked at the offer unless the Redskins included second-year LB Rocky McIntosh. That deal could still be revisited in the days leading up to the draft, but another obstacle is Angelo's aversion to selecting that high because of the financial commitment involved in signing a top-10 choice. Jacksonville has the 17th spot in the first round, which would have made Angelo more comfortable and probably not required any additional compensation.

The Bills could be interested at No. 12 and the Giants have apparently offered the No. 20 for Briggs, but both of those deals would a nip and a tuck to get done.

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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