The Jaguars have been one of the teams mentioned in a possible trade for disgruntled Chicago Bears linebacker, Lance Briggs. Briggs is one of those rare packages in which he's still a young player, with tons of upside, as well as being established as one of the very best linebackers in the game, and he has the trips to Hawaii to prove it. The Bears tried to deal Briggs to the Redskins last week, but talks broke down due to the 'Skins unwillingness to part with young linebacker, Rocky McIntosh. The deal called for the Bears and 'Skins to swap their first-round picks, with McIntosh being the sweetener for the Bears.
If the Jaguars were to make a move here, it would likely cost them a package of draft picks, and/or young players. Even bigger than that, the Jaguars would have to work out a new contract with the linebacker and his agent, the infamous Drew Rosenhaus. Briggs is looking for approximately $20 million in guaranteed money, and an average of at least $6 million per year. If structured properly, the Jaguars could possibly fit it in their budget, but the real question is why would they?
Lance Briggs is a fantastic linebacker, but I believe that the Jaguars shouldn't break the bank, or trade the farm for him. The team finished with the second-ranked defense in the NFL in 2006, without their best linebacker Mike Peterson for three-fourths of the season. Don't get me wrong, Lance Briggs would be a certain upgrade at the linebacker position, but not at the numbers that are being asked/mentioned. If the Jaguars could get away with giving up a second round pick, that compensation might make sense. If the Jaguars could give Briggs a contract with about $12 million of guaranteed money, that would probably make sense. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that the Bears, nor Briggs and Rosenhaus would be willing to talk in those numbers, so at this point, the deal would not make sense for Jacksonville.
Now there is one other alternative for the Jaguars if they are indeed interested in Briggs. That is the alternative of waiting. Wait and see what happens in Chicago. The Bears know that with each passing day, especially after the draft, Lance Briggs trade value diminishes. Briggs knows that if he continues to take the firm stance that he's taken, the Bears will be almost forced to trade him. Considering the views by both parties, each side will be doing themselves damage by not making a deal soon, and they will soon both realize this. If nothing happens by training camp, the Bears demands for compensation will drop, and so will Briggs'. The player doesn't want to sit out games, get fined, and miss paychecks, and the Bears certainly don't need this distraction to add to their already volatile quarterback situation. If everyone around the league takes the wait and see approach, someone may be able to pick up the talented linebacker for somewhat of a bargain.
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