Our item from last night regarding the ability of the Bears to pull the plug on the Julius Peppers contract after one year, making it essentially a one-year, $20 million contract with a team option on the rest, has created a stir.
But the info is legit. The Bears can declare the move a mistake and avoid the rest of the deal with no guaranteed money beyond what he received in 2010.
Multiple sources have pointed out that the decision to guarantee the money for injury only and not for skills arises from the reality that guarantees for injury and skill must be immediately funded. As one source pointed out, the Giants used the same tactic with quarterback Eli Manning.
The difference? The chances of the Giants choosing to cut Eli Manning before the money guaranteed for injury only comes due are slim. In Chicago, a decision to part ways with Peppers after one season is far more possible. If Halas Hall gets cleaned out after the coming season, the better adjective will be “probable.”
Amid these realities, we’re told that Peppers has received every assurance that all guaranteed money will be paid. Apart from the fact that the Bears can get in hot water for making promises beyond the pages of the signed contract, any such promise in completely unenforceable.
Besides, the supposed assurances that Peppers will be with the team over the long haul are coming from a regime that might not be employed when the time comes to make the decision.
Finally, we have been reminded that the 2011 roster bonus of $10.5 million is due to be paid before a lockout would be imposed. On the surface, it’s a shrewd move by the Peppers camp. At a deeper level, however, it could make the Bears more likely to cut Peppers before the 2011 roster bonus becomes fully guaranteed on February 10, 2011, if they have any doubt whatsoever regarding Peppers’ abilities and/or effort.