Boycotting minicamp could potentially cost Urlacher millions

SHARE Boycotting minicamp could potentially cost Urlacher millions

Brian Urlacher has said he needs to take a stand in his crusade for a new contract.

Barring an unforeseen breakthrough between the six-time Pro Bowl linebacker and the Bears, well get a better idea what that new contract is worth to Urlacher come Friday when the mandatory minicamp opens at Halas Hall.

If Urlacher boycotts the eventas he told our pal Mike Silver at Yahoo! Sports he was likely to do earlier this monthhe puts in jeopardy a portion of the $13 million signing bonus he received in 2003. Urlacher, who turned 30 Sunday and has skipped the voluntary offseason workout program to date, could risk losing money in his bid to earn more money.

At issue would be signing bonus forfeiture language in Urlachers contract, a standard part of virtually all NFL contracts. If hes in default on his contractand missing a mandatory team activity would qualifythe 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).

Thats more than the Bears have offered Urlacher in guaranteed money in an $18 million, one-year extension. (Weve 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.)

That pro-rated portion might be enough to ensure Urlacher is present.

I would bet I wouldnt be there, Urlacher told Silver May 13. My agents and the team had some good dialogue early on, but nothings happened lately. Its been almost two months since theres been any action on their end, and its a waiting game right now.

There have not been any developments since, so unless Urlacher has a change of heart, maybe he will push the envelope, the one stuffed with $5.77 million.

Theres 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 didnt pay up, they took him to court. Lelie paid.

Its no big deal if Urlacher is fined by the team for missing minicampthat levy can total only about $8,165. Going after him for millions would be a different story.

Urlachers bet might have changed. Maybe hell show after all.

Stay tuned.

The Latest
The fire began in the basement of a house in the 4000 block of West Potomac Avenue about 12:20 a.m., officials said.
Alex Lyon stopped all 28 shots in the 4-0 victory in Game 5
State Sen. Darren Bailey had been seeking Trump’s endorsement for months. The downstate farmer met with Trump last year and attended a fundraiser in April in which he snapped a photo with the former president.
Offense has scored three runs in its last three losses to the Orioles, who entered Saturday’s game with a 4.10 ERA - 12th in the AL