2022 NFL Free Agent Contract Grades
5 years, $140,000,000, $65,710,000 total guarantees ($22,750,000 full)
There are various components to this one here, but I'll mainly focus on the contract. The deal itself is by no means bad for the Raiders and when the story is that Adams was offered more by the Packers I actually believe it in this case. The true value of this contract is $22.5 million a year for three years with two void years thrown on the end that actually carry a salary without the void provision to bump the annual value to the eye popping $28 million a year. In actuality its a minor movement from the deal Julio Jones signed with the Falcons a few years ago.
The contract is effectively guaranteed which is a lot to give to a receiver about to hit 30. The way they have it structured the Raiders probably should avoid the temptation to restructure it to make it easier to trade or cut later on. Outside of the contract I think this has a strong possibility of being a lose-lose for all involved. Adams is a target monster in Green Bay while playing with a great QB. This will be a different scenario in a much tougher division. Even if Adams' presence helps the passing game, if the team finishes outside of the playoffs he is going to get blame if the stats are not crazy. This is a lot to trade away for 30 year old WR as well. I have far more faith in Adams playing well in LV than Julio Jones with the Titans last year but there is way more risk in this contract than what the Titans inherited with the Raiders.
6 years, $120,000,000, $51,435,000 total guarantees ($45,000,000 full)
While the $20 million per year average is hyperinflated by a final year salary of $30 million, the meat of the contract is still worth around $18 million per year. That is reasonable for a one or two year contract but guaranteeing $45 million to a 33 year old pass rusher is pretty crazy. Chandler Jones who is a bit younger and just as productive received $32 million.
Miller cashed in on a terrific Super Bowl performance after he was a bit of an afterthought following his trade to the Rams in the middle of the 2021 season. There is no reason for teams to go wild for that. The cost to walk away from Miller after two years would be over $45 million in cash with over $20 million in dead money. By comparison Jones would cost $34 million with $7 million or so dead. I like most everything the Bills have done for the last few seasons but this is not one of them.
3 years, $44,500,000, $30,000,000 total guarantees ($24,500,000 full)
This is a fair contract for the Buccaneers who get Davis at slightly under $15 million a year. Davis' contract comes right in with the second tier of "number 1" corners like Bradberry and Peters. The $15 million payout in year one is low for the contract and runs behind Adoree Jackson, William Jackson, Trae Waynes etc...The full guarantee only matches that of Shaq Griffin.
While we don't have indication of it yet, I would imagine that there will be two void years in this when it is finalized. The cap number could be pretty high next season and the decision to restructure should be based on how he plays this year. This contract is probably a step back for the market and is going to be looked at as a negative by the other corners still out there.
3 years, $51,000,000, $32,000,000 total guarantees ($32,000,000 full)
This is an absolute steal compared to the Von Miller contract in Buffalo. This is a good fit for the Raiders as they can pair the older Jones as a 1-2 punch with recently extended Maxx Crosby in a division that certainly should see plenty of opportunities to rush a passer. The Raiders made a two year commitment with this contract which is fine. The third year of the deal doesn't carry much dead money if they do not restructure the contract and they probably can get away without doing that. For a team taking a shot at it this year this is a solid approach to finding a pass rush.
3 years, $30,000,000, $20,000,000 total guarantees ($15,000,000 full)
I didn't expect Russell Gage to join the $10 million per year club this year at all, but I guess when Zay Jones is making $8 million a year anything is possible. I'm not sure I feel this signing for Tampa. They have a $20M/year commitment to Chris Godwin and another receiver who is going to want $20M+ a year in Mike Evans sometime soon. Tampa should be looking for lower cost options for their third receiver who Brady can raise up.
I have a feeling that there may wind up being void years tacked onto this one that lower the cap charge for this year but the information we have at the moment is a straight three year contract. The best part of this deal is that the second year is only partially guaranteed which can leave the door open to a pay cut if he doesn't stand out this year. That may prove valuable.
2 years, $19,055,000, $10,535,000 total guarantees ($10,535,000 full)
This is a relatively fair valuation for Nwosu who made the most of his walk year last season. Nwosu has historically been a 35% type player which would put him in a tier well below this salary level but if he can provide the Seahawks over 60% playing time they can probably live with this salary number. The thing I don't like is the years on the deal. I think they are high enough on the price to have gotten a third year. If he plays really well they are going to have to do a new contract in 2024. I would have thrown an early vesting partial guarantee at the 2023 season to try to get that added to the contract. This structure limits the potential upside.
3 years, $24,000,000, $15,000,000 total guarantees ($15,000,000 full)
The Jets didn't get caught up in any of the silliness that seemed to be showing up early in the tight end market, locking up Uzomah to a very straightforward three year contract worth $24 million. Uzomah is capable of being a 450-500 yard receiver with 60%+ playtime unlike someone like a Will Dissly and the Jets wound up with better front end terms on this contract than Seattle did with Dissly.
The only concern for the Jets is they did virtually guarantee $16 million here and Uzomah does have some injury history that is a bit concerning. At this point I think the Jets have already set themselves up for most of their 3+ year contracts to have close to the first two years guaranteed at signing. If he is healthy all season it wont be a concern but there is no out if things go sideways.
3 years, $19,500,000, $12,900,000 total guarantees ($8,450,000 full)
This is a fair price for Phillips if they project a slighter bigger role for him otherwise he will be one of the highest paid players on the interior projecting to be a 40% snap player. The team salary cap is compromised so they had to use a relatively large signing bonus this year to keep his cap number low in 2022. His salary is only injury guaranteed next year which will give them some flexibility if he does not play up to expectations. The contract itself is over guaranteed but I am guessing they had to add that injury protection to finalize the contract.
3 years, $15,000,000, $5,500,000 total guarantees ($5,500,000 full)
This is a great signing by the Ravens. I am very surprised that Moses, who played well for the Jets last year, could not find more of a market than this. At the least I would have thought that Moses would get the same $7M a year that the Ravens paid Alejandro Villanueva last season. The guarantee is just $5.5 million and even the final year cap hit around $7 million is manageable. This is a big gain for Baltimore.
1 year, $10,000,000, $10,000,000 total guarantees ($10,000,000 full)
A terrific signing by the Lions. Chark has all the talent in the world and probably more potential than the player replacing him in Jacksonville for $18 million a year. The contract has a max value of $13 million which Chark should have a good chance of earning if healthy. Chark should get a good opportunity to put up numbers in this offense if he is healthy. I'm not sure why the Lions opted for void years for their salary cap but that seems to be a norm for them these days. This is strong value for Detroit.
2 years, $11,000,000, $10,900,000 total guarantees ($8,200,000 full)
This contract is in line with pretty much every contract that Taylor has signed in the last four years. The guarantee is a little higher but there is no reason to think that Taylor won't be in NY in 2023 either as the backup or the starter. Taylor is a decent player and his teammates seem to play hard for him. He is a good backup for Daniel Jones and if Jones flops he can certainly step in. If history is any indication expect Taylor to start in 2023 and lose his job to some unfortunate injury. I'm not sure if the Giants had a better option for the way they are planning to run this season.
2 years, $11,000,000, $6,000,000 total guarantees ($6,000,000 full)
I love this deal for the Broncos. I thought that Jewell would have wound up on a one year prove it type of contract but the Broncos net that second year at very close to the same price. The team guaranteed him $6 million and in return get a second contract year at $5 million. Considering some of the linebacker contracts in free agency that may prove to be a $6 million discount. This is a very smart way to approach the position.
3 years, $30,000,000, $13,000,000 total guarantees ($13,000,000 full)
What a solid pickup this turned out to be for the Bengals last year. Bengals do a contract for Hill that is pretty standard for defensive tackles these days. As is standard the Bengals frontloaded the contract with the knowledge that they have almost zero intention of cutting a player. I'm not sure if that's the best strategy but they are looking to avoid guarantees and this gets that done. Steady salary cap hits should make this an easy one to manage for a few years.
3 years, $26,500,000, $8,750,000 total guarantees ($8,750,000 full)
This has the potential to be an excellent signing for the Steelers. Daniels is still a baby in NFL terms and has far more room for development than most free agents. The Steelers lock him up for under $9 million a year and utilize their typical structure of no guaranteed salary.
The downside here is that they are ballooning the salary cap charges which I don't think was necessary unless they had to hit a certain bonus number to get him to agree to a deal. Still that's a minor concern on a contract that a player may be able to outperform over a three year period.
1 year, $9,000,000, $8,250,000 total guarantees ($8,250,000 full)
Welcome to the world of tight end contracts. I am sure every Giants fan in the world thinks this contract is crazy, but this is just how these deals go. There is no salary spread, everyone just makes close to the same number.
I would have liked to have seen then get a little lower since it is just a one year contract, but with all the Jaguars have spent that wasnt going to happen here. Engram has talent and if he can find more consistency away from NY he may wind up sticking around here for more than a season.
2 years, $12,000,000, $7,000,000 total guarantees ($7,000,000 full)
Berrios got a strong contract from the Jets playing off his terrific season as a returner. The contract could very well be 1 year for $6.5 million if Berrios doesnt duplicate that year or become more involved in the offense. Teams are reaching more on players like Berrios pushing them from the $4 million to $7 million range. I can understand why the Jets did not go to three years at this price range because it would have pushed the guarantee too high. The added guarantee for 2023 means nothing because its so low. That had to be an easy decision for the Jets to get the deal done. I was surprised they went so low on a cap charge in year one but that may have to do with plans for the rest of free agency.
5 years, $69,500,000, $28,000,000 total guarantees ($28,000,000 full)
This contract is the cause of such debate because of a void provision that Dallas wanted to include leading to the Broncos signing Gregory instead. Looking at the structure of the contract I doubt that would have really played a role regardless. Broncos are certainly taking a chance on Gregory at this price. He is an incredibly talented player but there will always be concerns.
As long as there is no trouble then the Broncos should be excited for this deal. He should be able to give them two years that are at or above this salary level. Overall structure is very basic at straight $14M salaries and $16M cap hits after this year. If he slips up they will be able to walk away next year relatively unscathed. If he doesnt they have flexibility to restructure the deal for cap purposes. Given his age the length doesnt matter as those backend seasons may just be dummy years that wind up as pay cut seasons.
2 years, $10,000,000, $5,950,000 total guarantees ($4,450,000 full)
There are two aspects to this signing. As pure value I think this is very good. Hicks is one of the linebackers worth $5 million and the team really has no substantial guarantee beyond the $4.45 million from this year. They have $500,000 in annual per game bonuses which is always good for the team. On the other hand I don't really know why the Vikings are bringing in another 30 year old to play defense. Maybe they have some other roster moves up their sleeves but they should be getting younger rather than older. As a contract though I think this is a good one.
3 years, $31,500,000, $20,485,000 total guarantees ($20,485,000 full)
When it comes to free agency I think the Chiefs have a bit of a tendency to focus on one or two players each year and do whatever it takes to get them. $10.5M per year is rich for Reid who really should fall into that category of $7 million per year players. Reid does have some playmaking ability and perhaps in the shootout games that they are expected to play that will play a bigger role than it did in Houston.
I would have thought given the price tag here we might see some per game money considering he has missed a few games in each of the last few seasons but its a straightforward $20.8 commitment for the first two years. I would not be stunned if next year we hear people complaining about a near $13 million salary cap charge but they needed a low number to get him under the cap this year.
3 years, $24,000,000, $14,000,000 total guarantees ($14,000,000 full)
Jones has never had more than 652 yards in a season. He had opportunities last year and never delivered a consistent performance. Jones played in 2021 at $2.5 million which was a salary drive almost completely by being drafted in the 2nd round. If healthy they wound up effectively guaranteeing him $16 million. Jones should have been looking at a 3rd WR option which would have carried a salary around $6 million and just one year of guarantees.
3 years, $9,000,000, $4,650,000 total guarantees ($3,520,000 full)
It's hard to really get excited about a contract for a kicker but the Chargers did a fine job here in keeping Hopkins. The APY comes in on the low end of the longer term contracts as does the guarantee. In a worse case scenario they can walk away in 2023. Not many kickers get per game bonuses but this deal also has that going for the Chargers.
2 years, $4,400,000, $1,250,000 total guarantees ($1,250,000 full)
McKenzie did not get much interest as a free agent last year and it is doubtful that this year would have seen that change. Buffalo does go with the bump in pay with the expectation that he should see an expanded role in the offense. Contract numbers fit in with the minimum you would expect for a WR not on a veteran salary benefit to receive. Guarantee is right in line with those deals as well. The Bills do get the upside of a two year contract where many are just one year contracts in this price range. Considering the guarantee is the same that is a solid addition for Buffalo.
3 years, $18,000,000, $5,000,000 total guarantees ($5,000,000 full)
I like this signing for the Bengals who are in desperate need for O-line help. Karras if anything is a solid professional and should give them more certainty in the middle. Did they overpay? Probably. Karras has played the last few years at $3 million and my guess is his market almost anywhere else was around $5 million. That said the Bengals have the cap room to blow and where better to spend it than on their O-line this offseason? They can get out of the deal after a year but for this contract to be a success Karras has to play two years.
2 years, $12,100,000, $6,100,000 total guarantees ($6,100,000 full)
It feels like every year Miami makes a few swings at running back in free agency and generally they miss. This has that same feel. $6.1M a year is, I believe, the 3rd highest number for a UFA RB switching teams since 2019. Edmonds missed five games last season which is never ideal for a running back and they didnt get any protection for breaking down this year. The positive for Miami is that the 1st year cash is a bit low for a multi year deal of this size. There is a good chance that this will wind up being a one year, $6.1M contract leaving Miami with about $2M in dead money in 2023.
4 years, $35,000,000, $11,000,000 total guarantees ($11,000,000 full)
Considering how fast this deal went down I figured this was going to have some shocking total, but the $35 million total is a pretty fair number for the contract. As usual the Bengals don't venture off their standard contract structure which works well with the salary cap but can be risky if a player fails. Its a big year one pay out in return for a steady flow on the salary cap and an expectation of getting at least three years of performance. If he works out the Bengals will likely be very happy with this one.
3 years, $39,000,000, $26,500,000 total guarantees ($23,000,000 full)
Once Tom Brady made the decision to return it was a given that Jensen would find his way back to Tampa. Jensen winds up as the 2nd or 3rd highest paid center in the NFL (depending on how one looks at Jason Kelce). Guarantees are right in line with the market and the Buccaneers received a bit of a discount in the actual first year salary. My guess is a better contract existed in free agency had he taken that path.
Because of the teams cap situation they had to use a very low first year number which spikes his cap to $15M in 2023, the 3rd largest cap hit ever for a center. As long as they can avoid kicking the can that year they should be fine in the event Brady and/or Jensen retires in 2024.
4 years, $65,400,000, $36,000,000 total guarantees ($32,000,000 full)
Overall numbers here are fair for both sides. I think the Landry contract being signed before this one probably got Miami to up an offer to get Ogbah signed at the last minute. Dolphins get away with not having to do a massive year one payment and have a guarantee in line with players at this salary level. The increasing roster bonuses were also a nice touch given that Ogbah is a little on the older end.
The one thing I don't understand is why Miami went so low on the year one cap hit. They have plenty of cap space and have already said they are not in play for Watson. I guess if its just carried over it balances out in a sense but I would not want to be in a position to have to restructure next year.
5 years, $57,500,000, $27,000,000 total guarantees ($23,000,000 full)
I can understand the hesitation that the Cowboys fans had when they first heard about this contract. Gallup was a non-factor last year as he was in and out with injuries and now he is being tasked with replacing a $20M/year receiver. The contract, however, is in line with what receivers like Gallup generally earn. He is one of nine receivers earning between $10 and $12.5M and the only one to get a five year deal. His guarantee is right on par with the higher paid players of the group.
If he works out the Cowboys do get major upside in the five year deal compared to the three year deal that most get here. I dont see any negative tradeoffs in guarantees, structure, etc...to get those two year. The only concern I would have is if Dallas restructures next year they may lock them in for 2025. You can tell by the structure that they expect to get to 2025 but they will lose their out if they have to restructure the contract.
4 years, $72,000,000, $37,000,000 total guarantees ($37,000,000 full)
This years Sammy award goes to the Jaguars after signing Christian Kirk to a massive four year, $18 million a year contract. That's top 10 money for a player who has never had 1,000 yards. I guess the logic is without the competition for passes he will do more than he did in Arizona.
Two year value of $39 million blows away Kenny Golladay's surprising $36 million last season and is just $1 million below Amari Cooper and Michael Williams. 6th highest full guarantee at signing. The only positives here are that they avoided guarantees in 2025 and they have high per game bonuses. It's hard to imagine another deal being more bullish than this one during this free agency period. This contract should set the stage for a number of receivers to climb over $22 million a year.
5 years, $82,500,000, $40,000,000 total guarantees ($40,000,000 full)
The one worry I had for Jackson in free agency was his draft status as UDFAs at this position don't set new high water marks. That turned into the Chargers gain as they sign the best corner available for $16.5 million a year. Jackson has been an interception machine and with the pass rush up front should continue to find himself in some good situations to intercept the ball.
There is a massive outlay of cash in the first year of the contract but that doesnt match the massive deals recently signed by the Ravens and Bills for their corners. The Chargers left themselves some wiggle room in year 3 if they had to walk away from the contract but the expectation here should be at least four seasons.
3 years, $24,000,000, $15,980,000 total guarantees ($10,340,000 full)
Teams go overboard with the tight end contracts but I've just learned to accept that they are what they are. $8 million a year for a 240 yard receiver is certainly very high and it is the top contract at the moment for the sub star tier of tight ends. Not sure why they went so low on the cap hit in 2022 rather than aim for a more steady spread, but maybe they are involved in a trade market. They have a very small window to get out of the contract after this season but that would be a disaster if things went that bad since they are paying him nearly $11 million for 2022.
1 year, $6,500,000, $6,500,000 total guarantees ($6,500,000 full)
This is a good signing for Miami. Bridgewater is a better QB than Brissett and the cost is close to the same. Given the durability issues at starter for the Dolphins I'm not sure you could ask for a better backup than Bridgewater. He probably won't lean into any type of QB competition, but if Tua doesnt play well it does give Miami the option of making a change.
3 years, $29,250,000, $9,250,000 total guarantees ($9,250,000 full)
I wasn't very certain how this contract would go. On one hand he is a young starter and those players get paid (see Robinson, Cam) but on the other hand many look at him as a lower level player and sometimes those players totally fall out of the market. This should be considered fair value for the Steelers as it is about as low as you can go for a tackle who at the least is a swing tackle expected to compete.
The one notable thing here is that Pittsburgh did not have to waiver on their guarantee structure as many thought would happen on a teamwide basis following the TJ Watt contract. That makes this a slightly better deal than say the Jets contract with George Fant a few years ago. In essence the roster bonus works the same as a vesting guarantee but in this case would not be protected for injury. If he can find a way to play as well as Fant has following that contract the Steelers will be happy otherwise they will be looking at drafting a replacement next season.
3 years, $45,000,000, $28,000,000 total guarantees ($28,000,000 full)
This feels like spending money just for the sake of spending money. At least with Kirk the team had a desperate need at wide receiver. They didnt have a desperate need at linebacker and even if they did there were cheaper options out there. The market for players that fit Oluokun's profile maxes out between $11 and $12 million a year.You would think for the guarantee they would have aimed for four years on the contract.
3 years, $49,500,000, $30,000,000 total guarantees ($30,000,000 full)
This is a solid contract for both the Jaguars and Scherff. At $16.5 million a year Scherff gets to set the market for guards but the numbers are not over the top with the guarantees or anything like that. While a four year contract would have been better for Jacksonville I can understand not doing it since he is a bit older and that may have upped the guarantee number.
The $1 million in annual per game roster bonuses are a solid addition for Jacksonville especially considering Scherff's durability issues. Those were not included for Thuney last year and are harder to get for top line free agents. 1st year cash flows come in just under Joe Thuney's contract from last season. Overall, Scherff should be a good fit for their developing offense.
3 years, $22,050,000, $12,750,000 total guarantees ($12,750,000 full)
Wilson came on strong last season, putting together a few big games and working his way into a 3rd receiver role. We've seen this trap before though with teams that read too much into a few games here and there rather than the overall picture. Miami has been here before with Albert Wilson. If Wilson matches what he did in Dallas for part of the 2021 season then $7 million will be a bargain. If he doesnt then Miami overspent by $3 to $4 million a year and really over guaranteed the contract. Surprisingly there are no per game bonuses in the contract which given his early career injuries probably should have been in there.
3 years, $40,000,000, $25,000,000 total guarantees ($16,500,000 full)
I wanted to hold off on this until it was certain that Andrew Whitworth was retiring because the contract made no sense if that was not the case. This was an interesting contract decision for the Rams. If Noteboom plays well then they have a bargain for three years at $13.3 million if he plays poorly then they should have opted for a short term backup style contract here.
The first year numbers are low at $11.5 million in cash which is different. $8.5 million is guaranteed for injury in 2023 with $5 million fully guaranteed which in theory could give them a path to a pay cut if he does fail for the year. theory could give them an avenue for a pay reduction in 2023. In many ways this looks like a contract with two potential escape hatches after year one and then again after year two. The $15M salary in year 3 should make an extension easier if he gets there.
3 years, $21,000,000, $13,500,000 total guarantees ($13,500,000 full)
Easily one of the worst contracts of 2022. It is hard to envision what the Cardinals saw here. There is zero reason for Conner to get that kind of interest because he happened to have some success in goal line situations. The touchdowns are such a fluke stat but I can not see what else they paid for.
The effective guarantee on the contract is $16 million which matches the Melvin Gordon numbers from a few years ago. There are another $4.5 million in incentives to boot. The value is driven down by the third year which is a year it is unlikely he will ever see. To go from $1.75 million to $8 million a year after averaging 3.7 YPC is magic on Conner's part.
3 years, $31,650,000, $17,500,000 total guarantees ($14,500,000 full)
Ertz was an important addition to the Cardinals last year and it was smart to bring him back in 2022. They didn't break the bank to do it and came up with a nice contract that is pretty fair for both sides. Ertz' annual value will be just a hair above Austin Hooper's which is probably important to him, but the cash flows actually run under it over the same time period.
The partial 2022 guarantee and early roster bonus give both sides some protection in the contract. The only thing I dislike is having to use a void year and such a low cap hit this year to fit Ertz in. There were better ways to do this with their current roster, but overall this is a solid contract for Arizona.
5 years, $87,500,000, $52,500,000 total guarantees ($35,250,000 full)
The Titans were always going to be backed into a corner if they wanted to bring back Landry simply because of the contract that they signed with Bud Dupree last season. Landry is a tough player to evaluate. He scoops up sacks but doesn't do some of the other stuff that teams often value. Still he was clearly the best young pass rusher available in a weak year for rushers which likely was going to put him between Za'Darius Smith and Trey Flowers which is where he wound up.
The guarantee and guarantee structure is much for Flowers than Smith which locks Tennessee in for three years no matter what which is a big win for Landry. No other players from this tier of edge have come close to $50M+ virtually guaranteed from day one besides Flowers. Given the Titans cap constraints they get one cheap year and then a number of years around $20M. Probably best to resist the temptation to restructure next year which can help them keep open trade options in year three while maintaining leverage on the backend of the contract if Landry is still playing well at that point in time.
2 years, $6,000,000, $2,700,000 total guarantees ($2,700,000 full)
Detroit was a bit more bullish on Reynolds than I thought though the actual numbers far less than the original reports of a $6 million per year contract. The real contract here is one year for $2.75 million with an option for a second year at $3.25 million. To reach the reported numbers Reynolds would have to hit multiple performance incentives which would more than justify the cost. My only question would be if he only found a limited market at $1.75M last year and was cut from that contract did you need to go this high? Probably not but it's not as if the extra million is a big deal for the team given where they are right now.
2 years, $10,000,000, $4,000,000 total guarantees ($4,000,000 full)
With all the needs the Texans have I'm not sure why they put a priority on re-signing an often injured 30 year old linebacker. By far the best thing about the contract is that they were able to get his side to agree again to $1 million in per game bonuses in each year of the contract which does give them strong protection if the injury bug hits again. But if you can get that agreement why not just get him to agree to the same deal as last year which was for $3 million? I can't imagine that he would have found a home for $5 million a year as a free agent.
1 year, $2,000,000, $750,000 total guarantees ($750,000 full)
This is a perfectly fine deal for both sides. Conley gets a raise from $1.5 to $2 million but his guarantee actually drops from $1.5 million in 2021 to $750,000 in 2022 meaning he will need to work more to make the team. $250,000 of the raise is tied to per game bonuses. Solid approach to offering enough upside to get a player to re-sign while also protecting yourself in the process.
5 years, $50,000,000, $15,000,000 total guarantees ($15,000,000 full)
There is always a lot of risk in signing a player who has had multiple years to prove himself and only after five seasons was able to put together the one great year. Campbell was terrific for Green Bay last season but I would be a little concerned that everything just broke right in 2021 and wont do that again.
The $10M a year number is a bit misleading as the three year on this is close to $11M. His contract trends more like growth off Joe Schobert's contract with the Jaguars a few years back rather than with the Matt Milano's of the world. The Packers do get some value if he makes it to years four and five but I would consider those a longshot.
3 years, $60,000,000, $40,000,000 total guarantees ($40,000,000 full)
There is good and bad to this one. $20 million per year for Mike Williams is very bullish as is a $40 million guarantee. Other than Amari Cooper none of the young receivers have come close to the $20 million a year number and Williams is certainly not one of the best receivers in the NFL.
That being said the Chargers were prepared to franchise Williams this year to ensure continuity with their young QB and have the budget to spare in large part because the QB is cheap. The contract itself basically opts into two franchise tags (its about $500K less) while determining how to structure the cap charges in the way they want. By doing that they defer $7 million to 2024 when the cap should be much higher and also give themselves a franchise tag to use on Derwin James in 2023, if he remains healthy. The Chargers could always bring his salary down in 2024 if he underperforms or extend out if he plays well. So from the perspective of their team situation this was probably the right approach rather than haggling over a few million and getting into a tag battle.