Brian Urlacher will take part in the mandatory Bears’ minicamp this weekend after all.
The middle linebacker, according to an Internet report, will show up at Halas Hall after making strong statements suggesting he wouldn’t be seen earlier this month.
If Urlacher was going to find a resolution to his contract dispute, he wasn’t going to do it by staying away from the club. The Bears have a pretty straightforward policy of negotiating with players who are not present.
Urlacher also protects the $13 million signing bonus he received with the current $56.65 million, nine-year contract he received in 2003, the one he wants reworked. Had he skipped the mandatory minicamp, he would have been in default on his contract and as the Sun-Times reported that would have opened the door for the Bears to pursue a pro-rated portion of that signing bonus. Signing bonus forfeiture language in the contract would have allowed the Bears to go after more than $5.7 million, or 4/9 the $13 million.
The Bears have offered Urlacher an $18 million, one-year extension with $5 million guaranteed. He’s turned that deal down. Now that he’s arriving, perhaps the parties will be able to hammer out some type of compromise including a slightly higher guarantee. Thus far though, the team has showed no desire to move from its position. That could change now that he’s back.