Bears Continue to Innovate with Clever Negotiating Tricks

An interesting note from Patrick Finley at the Chicago Sun-Times:

Earlier this month, [the Bears] signed Saints center [Brian] de la Puente, who started every game the last two seasons, to a one-year contract. They’ll pay him $730,001, per players union records.

That dollar matters: By paying de la Puente $1 more than the veteran minimum, the Bears, per union rules, will be able to negotiate an in-season extension beyond one year and the exact same salary. (They were unable to with quarterback Josh McCown when he played for the minimum last season.)

Neat trick.  But it takes two to tango and it probably is an indication that both de la Puente and the Bears would like to stay more than one year.

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