A Sacramento, California native, Briggs attended Elk Grove High School in Elk Grove, California. While at Arizona, he was a two-time first-team All-Pac-10 Conference selection as a linebacker for the Arizona Wildcats football team. Briggs finished his college career with 308 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 36 tackles for losses, three interceptions, 10 passes deflected, five forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in 33 games at strong side linebacker.
Briggs was a third round draft pick (68th overall) by the Chicago Bears in the 2003 NFL Draft. In 2004, he made 126 tackles and was elected as a second alternate to the Pro Bowl. In 2005, Briggs was selected to represent the National Football Conference in the 2006 Pro Bowl. However, Briggs drew controversy when he refused to attend the Bears' summer camp, resulting in a temporary demotion.
He finished the 2006 Chicago Bears season as a clutch performer on the Bears' defense. Briggs was selected to play in the 2007 Pro Bowl, but opted to defer the invitation because of an injured foot. He became a free agent following the 2007 playoffs, leaving his future with the Bears in the air. Despite Briggs’ high price tag, commentary from NFL on Fox revealed Brian Urlacher was willing to take a pay-cut in order to keep Briggs on the team. On February 16, 2007, the Bears officially placed the franchise tag on him, which guarantees him a one-year contract for the 2007 NFL season at slightly more than $7.2 million.
On the morning of March 3, 2007, Briggs was featured on the Mike North Morning Show, and stated he was upset with the amount of money he was currently earning. Briggs later stated he enjoys his teammates, coaches and fans, but was fed up with the organization. He later went on to state he no longer wanted to be a Bear, and demanded a trade. Briggs also made his unhappiness known in a March 2007 interview with a Chicago radio station in which he said "I'll do everything that's within my power to not be with this organization."
On March 12, 2007 Briggs announced he no longer considers himself a member of the Chicago Bears. During a cell phone interview with Foxsports.com Briggs said "I am now prepared to sit out the year if the Bears don't trade me or release me, I've played my last snap for them. I'll never play another down for Chicago again." In explaining his demands, he said "The Bears have shown I'm not in their long-term plans so if that's the case, I don't want to be here." A report from Fox Sports on March 27 claimed that the Washington Redskins allegedly offered the Bears their first round pick in exchange for Briggs and the Bears' own first round pick. On March 28, Bears general manager Jerry Angelo confirmed that the Redskins have made a trade offer and stated, "We'll evaluate if that's good for us and get back to them". Angelo deferred the offer on April 3, but later stated they were interested in negotiating a deal the following day. The Bears then proposed a trade with the Redskins which included linebacker Rocky McIntosh as well as the Redskins first-round pick in exchange for Briggs. Briggs did not attend the team's first meeting after their Super Bowl XLI loss, or their mandatory mini camp session in May 2007. Despite his comments, the Bears re-signed Briggs to a six-year, $36 million contract on March 1, 2008.
On September 2, 2011 Briggs and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, formally asked the Bears organization for a trade, with three years left on his six-year contract. The request came after Briggs asked the Bears for a raise.
Briggs made the 2012 Pro Bowl team, but was unable to play due to an ankle injury.
On April 11, 2012, Briggs was given a one-year extension, increasing his contract through 2014. In week 7 of 2013 against the Washington Redskins, Briggs suffered a fracture in his shoulder. He rejoined the Bears in week 16, a 54-11 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Briggs recorded 24 tackles and one interception during the 2014 NFL season. After starting the season as the Bears' weak-side linebacker, Briggs was injured during week 5 and missed three games. He commented that his future with the team was in jeopardy, as he was in the final year of his contract. Briggs returned to play four more games, but injured his groin muscle during a week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. The Bears subsequently placed Briggs on their injury reserve list. He retired on September 2, 2015.
Briggs became a free agent but remained unsigned through the offseason. He announced his retirement on September 9.
KeyGP: games played
COMB: combined tackles
TOTAL: total tackles
AST: assisted tackles
FF: forced fumbles
FR: fumble recoveries
FR YDS: fumble return yards
IR YDS: interception return yards
AVG IR: average interception return
LNG: longest interception return
TD: interceptions returned for touchdown
PD: passes defensed
In August 2007 Lance crashed his new Lamborghini Murcielago into a light pole. He then left the scene of the accident and reported his car stolen. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident. He was also cited for failure to give immediate notice of an accident and improper lane usage.