The Philadelphia Eagles signed franchised wide receiver DeSean Jackson to a 5-year deal on Wednesday, and as expected, the over-reaction was wide spread as to what it might mean to Pittsburgh Steelers restricted free agent Mike Wallace. The contract numbers are already out per Pro Football Talk and this is a classic example of why you have to judge a contract by the breakdown itself, instead of looking at the overall value of the contract.
The Jackson deal calls for him to earn a 2012 base salary of $750,000 and he also will receive a $250,000 workout bonus in 2012 in addition. The signing bonus on the deal was just $10 million. The contract also includes a year two base salary of $6.75 million, of which $4 million of which is fully guaranteed. The other $2.75 million, as PFT points out, is guaranteed for injury only. He can also earn another workout bonus of $250,000 in the second year. There are other escalators and workout bonuses included in the deal, but let\'s look at the first two years only.
In 2012 the salary cap charge for Jackson, not including all of the incentives, being as I do not know if they are LTBE and NLTBE (I should note that I think the extra $1 million a season is NLTB) will be $3 million and that is a far cry from $13 million cap hit that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will absorb with the newly signed Vincent Jackson. Now if you remember, his deal with the Buccaneers totaled out at $55,555,555.00 million and should DeSean hit all of his presumed NLTBE incentives, which he won\'t, his contract will total out to be around $51 million over five years.
Remember that DeSean was franchised at the amount of $9.515 million, so the new guaranteed money he earned was essentially $5.485 million and an additional $3 million more in case of injury. His 2013 cap charge, assuming he hits none of his NLTBE incentives, should be $9 million and it could be $10 million if he hits all of the 2012 NLTBE incentives listed in the PFT breakdown of the contract, plus gets his workout bonus. So basically the first two years of the deal, if all incentives and bonuses are achieved, pays out ($10 million signing bonus + $7.5 million base salaries + $500,000 workout bonuses + $1 million incentives) $19 million and that is basically the franchise tag amount doubled up.
To sum up this deal, I think the Eagles did a great job with this contract as it is loaded with incentives. Jackson gets the security of a long term deal and basically $18 million guaranteed as long as he is not injured and hits his workout bonuses.
Now for the new Pierre Garcon contract that he signed with the Washington Redskins, which PFT states as a five-year deal with a maximum value of $42.5 million. He received a signing bonus of $11 million to go along with a 2012 base salary of $2.1 million. His 2013 base salary is $5.6 million and is guaranteed against injury only. He is also slated to receive per-game bonuses of up to $250,000 per season, according to PFT, and yearly workout bonuses of $150,000. Not knowing if those pre-game bonuses are LTBE or NLTBE, we will assume they are LTBE for now, and that would make his 2012 salary cap hit a max of $4.7 million. His 2013 cap hit at max should be $8.2 million. That would make his real guaranteed money just $13.25 million and his first two year total, which is guaranteed by injury only, $19 million. He can of course earn more through those incentives.
So as you can see by both of these contracts, the numbers break down fine as far as Wallace receiving something similar or slightly more lucrative. As I have said all along, it all depends on how much guaranteed money in year one that Wallace and his agent are asking for and how the contract is structured. You have to look at each contract individually and not just the total value of the contract or the first reported guaranteed money. More times than not, the guarantees aren\'t really so guaranteed.
Hopefully that calms some of the panic in regards to these new deals, but I am sure it still will not stop all of the over-reaction.