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Associated Press
Chicago linebacker Lance Briggs, who led the Bears with 147 tackles last season, received a contract extension through the 2014 season.
NFL

Bears lock up linebacker through 2014

– Lance Briggs once vowed he would never play another down for the Chicago Bears. He keeps negotiating new deals with them, though.

The Bears agreed to a one-year contract extension through 2014 with the Pro Bowl linebacker, keeping one of their cornerstone players happy.

“This was by far the least amount of time I’ve ever had with the Bears trying to (negotiate) a contract,” Briggs said on a conference call with reporters Wednesday.

A person familiar with the situation said the new deal basically guarantees about $8 million over the next two years.

Briggs, whose six-year, $36 million contract would have expired in 2013, was scheduled to make nearly $4 million next season. Instead, he gets a $3 million bonus up front, along with a $250,000 workout bonus and $3 million in salary.

His salary for 2013 is $4.5 million, with $2 million guaranteed and $4.75 million for 2014. The deal includes $250,000 workout bonuses in 2013 and 2014, plus roster bonuses of $1 million and $500,000 for those seasons.

“I’m grateful,” Briggs said. “I’m just very appreciative right now that the work has been recognized and that it got handled as fast as it did.”

Briggs vowed he would never play “another down for Chicago again” after the Bears slapped the franchise-player tag on him for the 2007 season.

Now, he hopes to finish his career in Chicago.

“My dream is to retire a Bear, and I know that I will retire a Bear,” he said.

Briggs entered select company this past season when he became just the fourth linebacker in franchise history to make seven straight Pro Bowls, joining Hall of Famers Dick Butkus, Bill George and Mike Singletary.

He led the Bears with 147 tackles last year, his eighth straight with 100 or more, and had eight tackles for loss.

He also forced two fumbles, broke up three passes and intercepted one.

Around the leage

The New York Giants signed veteran offensive tackle Sean Locklear, who has played eight seasons in the NFL, the first seven with Seattle and last year with Washington. …

Veteran defensive tackle Justin Bannan is returning to Denver. The 11th-year pro signed a free agent contract with his old club. He started all 16 games for the Broncos in 2010, before signing last year with St. Louis, where he started 14. … The New York Jets hired longtime NFL official Neil Glat to be their new president.

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