The clock is ticking for Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, who has until 3 p.m. Monday (Central) to sign a long-term contract extension. If no deal is completed -- and little progress has been evident since last year -- NFL rules stipulate that the only deal Briggs can sign is the franchise-tag tender offer of $7.2 million for 2007. One possible compromise: Briggs could agree to sign and play this season in exchange for the Bears' promise not to apply the franchise tag again next year. Otherwise, Briggs' threat to sit out the first 10 games serves only to cost him about $425,000 per week.