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June 22, 2008
by Robbie Gillies
The Bears have had major players complaining about their contract situations over the past couple years. After their Super Bowl loss in 2007, the Bears placed the franchise tag on Lance Briggs which meant he was guaranteed a one-year contract of about $7.2 million. Briggs wanted a more lucrative long-term deal and threatened to sit out the entire season if he did not get it. Briggs wound up playing and this past March was given the long-term deal he had wanted. This year, Brian Urlacher is unhappy with his current contract and is looking for a significant increase.
And then there's Tommy Harris. Harris was up for a new deal and he just recently signed a 4-year $40 million deal. So how is Harris different? Not only did he not complain and continued to participate in team activities, but he had this to say about the deal:
It was the principle of the whole deal. I wanted this deal done because the NFL gave me a price tag. I don't believe any NFL player deserves the amount of money that we do get. But in the business that we're in, they give us tags and say, 'This guy's worth this, this guy's worth that.' We play a game-a kids' game-and get paid a king's ransom.
And this is why players need agents. Otherwise, Tommie would be getting paid in Big League Chew and baseball cards.