Linebacker Lance Briggs is still looking for a job in the NFL after being released by the Chicago Bears, whom he spent a productive Pro Bowl career with for 12 seasons.
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Briggs is scheduled to visit with the San Francisco 49ers, who suddenly find themselves with inside linebacker as a need after it was one of their biggest strengths.
All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis abruptly retired after eight seasons though, and promising 24-year-old Chris Borland decided to call it quits after only one season.
Pro Bowler NaVorro Bowman remains on the team, but the 49ers have no depth at the position behind him. Plus, Bowman’s health is in question since he’s recovering from a brutal ACL tear that he sustained in the 2014 NFC Championship.
The seven-time Pro Bowler would bring valuable veteran experience to a team that is expected to go through a rebuilding year in 2015.
He helped the Bears put together one of the best defenses in the NFL under Lovie Smith’s watch, and they reached the Super Bowl in the 2006 season with Rex Grossman as their starting quarterback.
Briggs will need to prove he can stay healthy though as he suffered a season-ending groin injury in 2014 while also missing a large portion of the 2013 season.