So much for one thing leads to another. Larry Johnson today lost his grievance regarding his guaranteed salary and bonuses over the next two season. That was the ruling handed down by Special Master Stephen Burbank on Monday after the union’s grievance hearing last week.
Burbank ruled bonus money already earned cannot be forfeited by a palyer, meaning the Giants could not dock Plaxico Burress the $1 million he earned as part of the contract he signed in August. But he also upheld player contract language invalidating future guaranteed base salaries, meaning the Chiefs are permitted to erase $3.5 million in guaranteed base salary that is due this season and $250,000 in 2010 based on Johnson’s one-game suspension last season for violation of a personal conduct policy.
Johnson did, however, prevail as to the partial forfeiture of his signing bouns allocation applicable to 2008, for the same reasons Burress’ grievance prevailed on the point that suspensions do not trigger a forfeiture of signing bonus money.
After the decision in favor of Burress I figured Johnson would win his as well and that the Chiefs would release him anyway. Now that the Chiefs won the grievance and can release him without having to pay those guarantees, I cannot imagine anything else happening. Johnson has been given so many chances in Kansas City it’s time for him to move on.