Former Bears linebacker Lance Briggs says he didn’t punch Jay Cutler “out of respect”

Punching out the franchise quarterback has been the talk of the town since reports broke that New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith got smacked in the jaw by now-former teammate, IK Enemkpali, on Tuesday.

In an appearance on NFL Network, former Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs was asked if he ever wanted to do the same to Jay Cutler, his teammate from 2009-2014. Via Jeff Dickerson of ESPN:

“There have been times, yeah,” Briggs said with a smile, per Dickerson. “Why didn’t I do it? Because out of respect.”

Briggs wasn’t finished speaking when he referenced Cutler. He mentioned the names of other former Bears quarterbacks he may have wanted to clock in the past, which included Caleb Hanie, Craig Krenzel, Kordell Stewart, Rex Grossman and Jonathan Quinn. He said of Grossman:

“I wanted to punch Rex Grossman in Miami [where the Bears lost Super Bowl XLI to the Indianapolis Colts].”

Regarding Quinn, Briggs continued:

“Yes, I wanted to punch [Quinn] because the defense was on the field 90 plays a game [in 2004].”

At least Briggs kept Kyle Orton and Brian Griese off of his hit list.

As it stands now, Briggs remains a free agent after sustaining a groin injury in 2014 and a 12-year tenure in Chicago. While with the Bears, the seven-time Pro-Bowler accumulated 936 tackles and 15 sacks.

It’s no surprise that Briggs encountered his fair share of frustrations while with the Bears along the way. However, punching out your franchise quarterback is a huge no-no in the NFL, and Briggs’ statements reinforces that.