(CBS) Veteran linebacker and soon-to-be free agent Lance Briggs’ 12-year career with the Bears is likely over, for many reasons. The Chicago defense needs to get younger, and Briggs has lost a step.

Briggs has even hinted at the end himself, saying late in the season that he and veteran defensive back Charles Tillman “had a great ride together.”

READ MORE: City Was Warned About Thousands of Corroding Light Poles But Failed to Fix Many, CBS 2 Investigation Finds

And yet, Briggs still holds out hope that the new Bears regime — under general manager Ryan Pace and coach John Fox — may have interest.

READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Rain Arrives Sunday

“In my opinion, I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t want to do that,” Briggs said Monday on CSN Chicago after he was asked if the Bears should consider bringing him back for a veteran presence and depth at linebacker. “Obviously, in the draft, that’s probably going to be one of the focal points is getting a linebacker, but even so, a guy who’s been around, a guy who understands football, who’s a great football player and can play at a high level still is, to me, is enticing. So a guy like John Fox — love the hire — and hopefully, you know, I get a call and I get an opportunity to come back and play in Chicago, where I’m supposed to be.”

MORE NEWS: Plummer, Cockburn Lead Illinois Past Rutgers

Briggs, 34, made seven Pro Bowls in his Bears career. He missed the final five games of the 2014 season with a groin injury. In 11 games, he had 35 tackles.