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."
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