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So What Is the Deal with TJ and Briggs

UPDATE: Briggs appeared on a Chicago radio station yesterday and said he doesn't forsee holding out of training camp, instead playing having a big year and then hitting the open market. One option the Bears have that hasn't been thrown around a lot is that the Bears can always franchise Briggs at some point.

Depending on what article you read and how confused you get between mandatory meetings, voulentary workouts and off season training exercies Thomas Jones and Lance Briggs may or may not have ever been in Chicago this off season.  Here is a short break down of what I have gathered.

Both players unhappy with their contract and/or their situation skipped voluntary workouts in April.

Both showed for their physicals and to practice for the first mandatory mini camp.  At this camp both players were demoted to second team as a show of disapproval by Coach Smith.

At a meeting this morning, where Coach Smith rewarded players for a good mini camp by cancelling the first of 12 organized team activities on Monday, neither Jones or Briggs attended.

It is not expected that either will show for the first OTA on Tuesday.

Where this leaves things with either is up in the air.  Briggs has stated that he wants to stay in Chicago, but wants a new contract.  The Bears pulled an offer in April and have not yet reopened discussions.

Jones is unhappy with the pressure he is receiving from future feature back Cedric Benson and the fact that he is making more money.  Jones has asked for a trade and after mildly listening to offers around the time of the draft, the Bears have choosen to keep Jones.

I don't know how this will end up, but Jones will be the looser here in some form.  The Bears want a high 2nd round pick for him, so that isn't likely to happen and although he is currently listed as the starter the combination of his absence combined with the impressive showing of Benson after a full off season working with Running Backs Coach Tim Spencer, might find Jones not only not traded, but demoted permanently to backup.