Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher’s football season ended in the first quarter of the first game of the year after he dislocated his wrist. Despite early rumors the injury was career-ending, various hand specialists say Urlacher should be able to play again next season.
His memorabilia company, however, is not so sure, which is why it terminated his $1.2 million contract in the days after Urlacher underwent surgery.
Now Urlacher is suing Dreams Inc. for breach of contract, seeking the remaining $600,000 on his four-year deal and any related damages.
The contract, signed in October 2007, was part of the court filings. Dreams ended its relationship with Urlacher based on a clause allowing the company to terminate the contract if he is out “for sixteen or more consecutive weeks” — a full season or more.
The contract is chock full of interesting items, including how much Urlacher’s signature is worth if he meets various on-field performance goals. If he is named Super Bowl MVP, for example, his price per autograph goes up to $100 (up $25 from his regular price) for the first 3,200 signatures and $80 a signature thereafter.
Urlacher was contractually obligated to sign thousands of items every year. I’m kind of surprised he injured his wrist on the field before he suffered carpal tunnel syndrome off it.
(HT to my colleague Steve Lash for telling me about the lawsuit.)