Yesterday the Cowboys announced signing K Dan Bailey to a 7 year contract. Today we have the details. Via a source with knowledge of the contract, its worth $22.5 million over 7 years with $4.9 million guaranteed upon signing. The $4.9 million in fully guaranteed salary, which consists of a $4 million signing bonus and $900,000 base salary in 2014, is the second highest full guarantee given to a kicker, tied with Robbie Gould of the Bears, who signed a contract a few weeks back. Bailey’s contract is much longer so in terms of guaranteed dollars per year Bailey’s contract ranks just outside the top 10.
Bailey’s salary in 2015 and 2016 are guaranteed for injury only, bringing the total guarantee up to $7.5 million. Those salaries become fully guaranteed on the 5th day of the 2015 and 2016 League Year respectively. If Bailey was to fall off a cliff then he would be cut with minimal damage after the 3rd year of the contract and there is a chance that he could be cut after the 2nd year based on the structure of the contract. Based on the presence of two empty proration years at the end of the deal the contract leaves itself open to future restructures for maximum cap relief if necessary.
From a salary cap perspective Bailey will cost the cap strapped Cowboys $1.7 million in 2014. That will be about a $400,000 savings from the 2nd round tender amount, which we can probably assume was going to be the tender Bailey was given. So this really does not hurt the teams’ salary cap in any way. The going rate for a decent kicker would have been about this type of charge had they gone in a different direction and signed a one or two year deal with a veteran. The other option would have been to go for the older veteran that will only take the minimum salary on a one year deal, but in those cases its more of an unknown as to the production you will get.
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.