JONES TO THE JETS
Leave it to the Trib’s David Haugh to breakdown the trade of [tag]Thomas Jones[/tag] to the [tag]Jets[/tag] and the [tag]Lance Briggs[/tag] situation.
Unless the [tag]Bears[/tag] package the Nos. 31 and 37 picks to move up in the first round to select a game-breaking offensive player—who will be expensive—it seems hard to justify not getting an actual body in return for the Bears’ best running back since Walter Payton.
Usually when an NFL team replaces a proven veteran with a younger runner with injury and maturity questions, it’s called rebuilding. The Bears will sell it as progress. It’s too early to agree.
Maybe there are too many solid running backs floating around for the Bears to do much better than they did. I certainly like the fact that they have moved up in the second round. And while I will miss Jones I knew the Super Bowl would be his last game as a Bear.
So what does the Bears’ draft board look like? They need a true outlet for Grossman. In a draft rich with RBs, the Bears need to find one with speed who is a plus as a receiver. I love Jones, but you need more of a playmaker out of the backfield. The Bears also should look to linebackers, corners, safeties and tight ends. But I think that RB is crucial.
As for Briggs, Haugh points out his agent is Drew Rosenhaus. And a trade is unlikely.
It bugs Briggs that the franchise tag the Bears applied will allow him to earn the mere NFL pittance of $7.2 million next year—a 1,000 percent raise—if he signs it, which he says he won’t. Imagine how bad he might feel not bringing home a check at all in 2007. The Bears should make him think about that for a while and do absolutely nothing.
It’s agent rhetoric. Briggs will sign, suit up, and play like a madman. I wholeheartedly doubt a player would turn away his first big payday. Quite a start to the offseason for the Bears.