clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bears Could Go After Urlacher's Money

File this one under iceberg's chance in hell and just classify it under the Misc file in your brain for a later date.

With Uralcher opting to not attend Bears mini camp, the Bears could go after a portion of his signing bonus , something that would definitely open Urlacher's eyes considering he is trying to get more money, not lose it.

At issue would be signing bonus forfeiture language in Urlacher’s contract, a standard part of virtually all NFL contracts. If he’s in default on his contract—and missing a mandatory team activity would qualify—the Bears could choose to pursue a pro-rated portion of that signing bonus. Just five years into the $56.65 million, nine-year contract, at stake would be $5,777,777 (the remaining pro-rated portion of the signing bonus).

That’s more than the Bears have offered Urlacher in guaranteed money in an $18 million, one-year extension. (We’ve covered the details of the offer before—$5 million to sign, a $1 million escalator in each of the next four seasons triggered by 85 percent play time, and a $9 million base salary in the new year of 2012.)

The precedent for this has been set:

There’s precedent for this, too. The Denver Broncos went after wide receiver Ashley Lelie two summers ago when there was a chance he would be traded to the Bears. The Broncos won and when Lelie didn’t pay up, they took him to court. Lelie paid.

My thoughts on this are as follows:

1) Ashley Lelie may be a precedent from a legal stand point, but this is not a precedent.  The way you treat a never was receiver, versus an all pro position defining player are two hugely different things.

2) Based on what I have heard though Uralcher is no showing Bears activities, he, his agent and Bears management are not at a place where any real threating is happening.  Urlacher not showing is just posturing.  Going after money would only cause Uralcher to dig in more and that is a dire last option.  Something you might throw out around training camp time to see if you can get him back to the table or lower his expectations.