Two days ago it was announced that LB Brian Cushing had signed a $56.6 million dollar contract with the Houston Texans, now we have the financial details of the deal.
Per a league source, Cushing received a $9 million dollar signing bonus and will receive a $6 million dollar option bonus in 2014. Cushing will earn base salaries of $1,143,000 (2013), $2,000,000(2014), $4,000,000 (2015), $6,000,000 (2016), $5,500,000 (2017), $7,250,000 (2018), and $8,250,000 (2019). In addition each season contains $1.25 million in roster bonuses. As previously reported the contract contains $21 million in guarantees.
In terms of new money Cushing will earn $53.5 million over the 6 year period. He will earn $16.25 million in new money in the first extension year which is $750,000 more than Sean Lee earns with the Dallas Cowboys. From there Cushing’s money vaults far above Lee’s, which is to be expected as this is a much larger contract. The final year of the deal contains no prorated money so the real meat of the contract is 5 years for $44 million.
The Texans’ use of two prorated bonuses early in the life of the contract allows for manageable cap figures in the early stages of the contract. Cushing’s in which he will count for just $4.443 million in 2013 and $6.25 million in 2014. This was important for Houston who has been in a cap crunch most of the summer. The first truly burdensome year will occur in 2016 when his cap leaps to $10.25 million, an excessive number for an interior linebacker. At that point his contract will contain $7.2 million in dead money making it a difficult pill to swallow if the team was to need to cut him for cap reasons. So he has a strong chance to earn more than the guarantee in his contract due to the contractual structure, typically a strong win for the player. That said I don’t know if the roster bonuses are of the per game variety and if they are that is likely the giveback Cushing’s side had to make in order to get the strong overall cash and cap structure.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.