Does Briggs want to be a Buc?
The chances of this happening probably aren't so good, but for what it's worth, disgruntled Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs has an eye on the Bucs.
Briggs, a standout who was designated a franchise player by the Bears, remains upset about his status (he hasn't signed the franchise tender) and continues to demand a long-term contract. If he doesn't get one, he is threatening to hold out and insists he wants to be traded. His hope is he will land in Washington or Tampa Bay.
Washington is known to have made efforts to acquire Briggs. But regarding the Bucs, it's not clear whether they've made a strong push. It would seem unlikely given the number of changes they've made at linebacker this offseason, including the signing of 2005 Pro Bowl selection Cato June. But Briggs indicated in a conversation with Adam Schefter of NFL.com that both Washington and Tampa Bay are interested. We'd like to think the Pro Bowler knows what he's talking about, so we'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
The situation in Chicago will probably only get uglier as Briggs continues to stay away from offseason workouts, including an upcoming mandatory mini-camp. The longer things remain unresolved, the better the chance of Briggs being traded.
For the Bucs, this would be a tough one to pull off. First, landing Briggs would cost a ton of long-term cash, though the Bucs do have some salary-cap flexibility. Equally critical to any potential deal would be what to do with Derrick Brooks, who plays the same position (weak-side linebacker) as Briggs. Already the Bucs have June, who is ideally-suited for the weak-side but looks to be headed for the strong-side in Tampa Bay. Brooks is nearing retirement -- that can't be disputed. But he isn't giving in yet, and that will make this a thorny proposition for the Bucs.
Our guess is this doesn't happen, particularly given the fact linebacker is a position where the talent level is pretty good. There are other areas in more dire need of a talent upgrade, such as safety, offensive line and receiver.
But we'll never say never, especially when the pressure is on to win.