The good news for NFL players coming out of last week’s combined Plaxico Burress/Larry Johnson grievance is that the forfeiture of signing bonus money has been significantly limited.
The bad news for NFL players is that Special Master Richard Burbank upheld player contract language invalidating future guaranteed base salaries.
Per a league source, Johnson’s grievance failed as to the question of whether the Chiefs are permitted to erase $3.5 million in guaranteed base salary due in 2009 and $250,000 in guaranteed base salary due in 2010 based on Johnson’s one-game suspension in 2008 for violation of the personal conduct policy.
With the future guaranteed payments now off the books, the Chiefs are expected to cut or trade Johnson.
Meanwhile, we’re told that Johnson’s grievance prevailed as to the partial forfeiture of his signing bonus allocation applicable to 2008, for the same reasons that the Burress grievance prevailed on that point - according to Burbank, suspensions don’t trigger a forfeiture of signing bonus money.