This is the last year of Bears wide receiver Johnny Knox’s rookie contract, but it isn’t necessarily the end of his time with the Bears.
Knox hasn’t been activated from the physically unable to perform list, and isn’t expected to be by today’s deadline, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. But a provision in the CBA allows teams to retain the rights to players who spend the entire year on PUP for the following season.
That’s different from players who spend the year on injured reserve, whose contracts can expire and the can go look for work as free agents.
But the Bears have stuck by Knox, a fifth-round pick in 2009 with deep ball ability, through a long rehab from neck surgery. He suffered the initial injury last December against the Seahawks, and needed spinal fusion surgery. He said last month he still hadn’t run full speed.
Bringing him back next year (at his same $1.26 million salary) is a good faith gesture, giving him time to get ready for the offseason program and training camp next year.