As we all know, Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith could be gone if the Bears underachieve again next season.
Here's the surprise: Julius Peppers could follow them out the door.
According to Peter King of Si.com, Peppers will receive $20 million in 2010, almost all of which is guaranteed. Evidently, the $22 that he is set to receive in 2011 and 2012 is guaranteed for injury only.
In other words, if Peppers fails to make the expected impact for any reason other than injury, the Bears can say goodbye and pocket the $22 million. In that case, the six-year, $91.5 million deal would be the equivalent of a one-year, $20 million deal.
This is a smart move by the Bears because the criticisms of Peppers for taking plays off and disappearing for stretches are real. Giving someone with that reputation so much guaranteed money is a recipe for disaster. The way the contract is structured, Peppers should be motivated to be the kind of player the Bear will want to stick around.