After picking up his second red card of the season on Saturday and copping the subsequent automatic two-match ban, John Terry's season is over. In all likelihood, his Chelsea career is over as well, unless there's an eleventh-hour U-turn coming with regards to his contract extension. Barring any testimonials or post-season exhibitions, he will have played his final match at Stamford Bridge as a Chelsea player. At least that was a fun occasion.
So what's next for Mr. Chelsea? He says he's not quite ready to retire yet, but he also won't play for another team in England out of respect or loyalty or whatehaveya for Chelsea. So the options seem to be China's Super League, Qatar's Stars League, UAE's Gulf League, or the USA's MLS. Well, maybe not the latter.
The league source indicated via email that some preliminary discussions between MLS and Terry's representatives had taken place over the winter, but no recent talks had been held due to the fact that no MLS teams are interested in signing the defender "at Designated Player levels, which is what [Terry is] looking for."
Designated Players are basically loopholes that allow teams to sign up to three players outside of the salary cap, and pay them exorbitant wages like the $6m that's going to Frank Lampard (fifth highest in the league after Kaká, Giovinco, Gerrard, and Michael Bradley).
MLS teams obviously don't mind paying these salaries to high profile players whose value goes beyond just their product on the pitch, but defenders don't necessarily grab the headlines and imaginations as well as goal-scorers and the like. While that doesn't necessarily rule out Terry coming to America — Ashley Cole joined LA Galaxy in the winter on a non-DP salary, for example — it might make a move eastward a far more financially attractive proposition.