Updated: June 5, 2003, 10:55 AM ETBy By Darrell Trimble
Chicago Bears: LB Brian Urlacher's nine-year, $59 million deal contains no "poison pill" escalator clauses or incentive rollovers that eventually make his future salary cap numbers balloon, forcing a renegotiation. Urlacher's deal is structured to pay most of the money in the next three years before eventually leveling off to manageable amounts. The numbers against the salary cap actually will decrease steadily, and Urlacher will be consuming a smaller percentage of the payroll, assuming the NFL salary cap continues to inflate on an annual basis. "When you see deals being done now, you either have to gut your football team to do it or become hostage into the future," GM Jerry Angelo told the Chicago Tribune. "We're not doing that. We're able to keep our team together as well as plan for the future. Players are coming to the realization that to be a team player you have to have a team." Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RB Michael Pittman was charged formally Wednesday on six felony counts. Police say he rammed his Hummer into his wife's Mercedes, in which she and the couple's 2-year-old son and a babysitter were riding. If convicted, Pittman faces five to 15 years in prison. Pittman, who played for the Arizona Cardinals until last season, must return to Phoenix to address the charges, though no one is sure when. "If he is guilty of any wrongdoing here, justice will decide that," coach Jon Gruden told the Tampa Tribune. "Once justice has run its process, we'll see from there." Melissa Pittman told police her husband rammed his Hummer into her car after an argument. Police said the Tampa Bay player claimed his wife caused the wreck, but police say the damage to the Mercedes' passenger side and front hood, as well as a tire torn from its rim on the driver's side of the car, isn't consistent with Pittman's version.
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