Lance Briggs able to focus on football

Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs said Thursday he's been able to focus on playing despite creating a stir in the preseason by asking for a new contract or a trade.

"That was all business," Briggs said on "The Carmen, Jurko & Harry Show" on ESPN 1000. "There's a business side of it.

"Ask Ron Rivera about his parting from Chicago. It's business. I said what I had to say then. It's over and I'm focusing on football."

The Bears didn't renew Rivera's contract as defensive coordinator in 2006 after his defense helped lead the Bears to Super Bowl XLI. Rivera is now the head coach of the Carolina Panthers and will lead his team against the Bears on Sunday in Soldier Field.

What caused some to question Briggs was that he was asking for a new deal despite the fact he has three more years left on a deal that was front-loaded.

When asked if he would be back in 2012, Briggs said: "You have to ask the front office that.

"How many guys were under contract before the lockout? How many guys aren't [now]? How many guys were perennial Pro Bowlers under 30 who were under contract, and aren't under contract now? This is a game of here now and gone later. You never know. You play every game like it's your last and enjoy it while you can."

Briggs, 30, is a six-time Pro Bowler, and he said he hasn't been unhappy playing for the Bears.

"This is my ninth year, and I'm grateful for every year and every moment," he said. "I've never been in a better locker room. I've created amazing friendships, got a chance to play next to a Hall of Famer in Brian [Urlacher], and experienced the amazing city of Chicago.

"There are no easy decisions. It's just right now it's football, and when you get on that football field, nothing changes at all. Nothing at all."

The Bears are 1-2 and Briggs has 28 tackles, no sacks and he's forced a fumble.