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Old 09-18-2009, 08:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Urlacher Sues Over Autograph Contract Termination

Urlacher Sues Over Autograph Contract Termination

Brian Urlacher has not had a good week.

Would you want to be the one to tell Brian Urlacher you were voiding his autograph contract?

Dreams, Inc. apparently did...through legal channels anyway. It's a story illustrating the sometimes cutthroat world of paid autograph signings.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Urlacher's four-year, $1.1 million contract to sign autographs for the company was terminated on Tuesday--just two days after he suffered a season-ending wrist injury. Now, the Bears' hard-nosed linebacker is suing for the remainder of the money--believed to be about $600,000. Urlacher's attorneys claim the memorabilia agent is trying to "wiggle out" of the deal.

According to the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court by Urlacher's attorneys, Dreams exercised a clause in the contract that allowed it to end its agreement with Urlacher if he was out of action for 16 or more weeks or suffered a career-ending injury. The NFL regular season lasts 17 weeks--and 16 games. Urlacher had surgery on his wrist, which was dislocated in Sunday night's game at Green Bay. While he's expected to miss the remainder of the 2009 season, the injury is not believed to be career-ending.

One Dreams-owned website, ProSportsMemorabilia.com, sells Urlacher autographs in a wide range of prices, including $329 for a signed football, $215 for an autographed helmet and $150 for a plain 8x10 autographed photo. It's not known how much the company pays Urlacher for each signature, but a likely range would be $50-75 each. Dreams, Inc also owns Field of Dreams stores across the nation, along with Mounted Memories, Schwartz Sports, and FansEdge.

The suit seeks the remainder of the money in his contract, plus unspecified damages and court costs. Urlacher signed with Dreams in 2007 and his contract was to run until 2011 according to the documents obtained by the newspaper.
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Doesn't sound like Urlacher has a case here. Dreams had a clause to protect themselves from large financial loss and they are using the contractual language to reduce the risk of major losses.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Not if he comes back and plays that last game or two of the season.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Guess you have a good point there. He has not missed 16 weeks yet.

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Not if he comes back and plays that last game or two of the season.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Sounds like a premauture contract cancellation to me....lol

PS: I wish I could get $75 for each time I signed my name.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Is Urlacher even relevant in this business anymore ? I know his cards don't sell for anywhere close to what they used to sell for after a couple of so so seasons. I doubt those over-priced memorabilia items are flying off the shelves there as well so can ya blame them for looking for a clean get away from the rest of that contract ?
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:11 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Is Urlacher even relevant in this business anymore ? I know his cards don't sell for anywhere close to what they used to sell for after a couple of so so seasons. I doubt those over-priced memorabilia items are flying off the shelves there as well so can ya blame them for looking for a clean get away from the rest of that contract ?
Sure you can blame them. They either drew up the contract or agreed to it. Either way, it's a contract. It's not Urlacher's fault if they made a bad decision. A contract is a contract. But your right, in today's world of being an American, your word, (or written contracts), don't seem to be worth anything anymore.

(Of course I don't mean your word Bambam. I'm generalizing.)
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
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he needs to learn to sign with his other hand
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Not if he comes back and plays that last game or two of the season.
He can't do that. He has been placed on injured reserve.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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He can't do that. He has been placed on injured reserve.
He can be taken off of injured reserve can't he?
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:33 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Sure you can blame them. They either drew up the contract or agreed to it. Either way, it's a contract. It's not Urlacher's fault if they made a bad decision. A contract is a contract. But your right, in today's world of being an American, your word, (or written contracts), don't seem to be worth anything anymore.

(Of course I don't mean your word Bambam. I'm generalizing.)
Without seeing the enitre contract, how can anyone say if they are within their rights or not ? Obviously there are clauses in there that have the dealer thinking they can get out from under the remaining money. He has to miss 16 weeks which after getting injured in week 1 would mean 16 weeks missed since the NFL is only a 17 week season and the doctors have him out for the year. Obviously there could be loop holes like does the bye week count as a week missed or even the fact that Urlacher hasn't missed the time YET. If anything it may be a bit premature on their end but maybe they have an installment coming up to pay him and figure it will be tough to get the money back down the road ???

I almost never stick up for the corporate side in business but that doesn't mean I don't understand why they are doing what they are doing.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:36 AM   #12 (permalink)
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He can be taken off of injured reserve can't he?
No, for whatever reason in the NFL if you go on the Injured Reserve you are there to stay for the entire season.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:38 AM   #13 (permalink)
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No, for whatever reason in the NFL if you go on the Injured Reserve you are there to stay for the entire season.
Ah, thanks for helping me learn something today. This is making me sway my stance on this subject.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:48 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Ah, thanks for helping me learn something today. This is making me sway my stance on this subject.
There used to be two parts to the policy.

If a player went on IR during preseason he was lost for the year.

If a player went on IR during the regular season he was only lost for a specified time period.

It was felt that some owners were circumventing the 53 man roster policy by sticking some players on the IR so other teams would not pick them up, so it was changed. Now every player put on IR is gone for the season regardless of when they go on IR.

At least the player gets paid for the whole season.
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Old 09-18-2009, 11:44 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I understand now, and I feel smarter. That's not hard to accomplish though as I have a lot to learn.

Thanks!
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Old 09-18-2009, 01:13 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by hockeyjunkie99 View Post
PS: I wish I could get $75 for each time I signed my name.
How much do you charge now?
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