2019 NFL Free Agent Contract Grades
1 year, $4,500,000, $0 total guarantees ($0 full)
A relatively no risk contract for the Seahawks with only $250,000 tied to anything in the offseason and that doesnt even get earned until August.That said was anyone clamoring to sign Kendricks at even half this number? I wouldn't think so.
1 year, $1,400,000, $550,000 total guarantees ($550,000 full)
Nothing wrong with this kind of deal for a backup lineman who has experience with the team. This is the contract they should have done with him last year rather than having him play on the RFA tender. The Jets snuck in $150,000 in per game bonuses here and also used a partial P5 guarantee which means if he is cut they will likely recover some, if not all, of that from another team.
1 year, $3,250,000, $1,500,000 total guarantees ($1,500,000 full)
Why? What did the Redskins see here that nobody else in the NFL would see to give him a look at anything more than the minimum? Maybe he'll surprise everyone and turn it around but even if he did that doesnt make this a good deal. Id be concerned if I was the Redskins QB.
1 year, $6,500,000, $4,500,000 total guarantees ($4,500,000 full)
Both sides are likely happy with this deal. For Darby he has a chance to earn up to $8.5 million and prove he can stay healthy for a full season. The Eagles get to keep a player who may have been the most talented corner available for another season. The issue with Darby has always been health and the Eagles have a huge $2 million in per gamers here bringing their at risk amount to $4.5 million, a good number when you consider the upside is basically a $9 to $10 million type of player. The only thing I dislike is the four void years to defer $2.8M in cap charges to the future. There are too many questions surrounding Darby to have done that, IMO.
2 years, $11,000,000, $7,000,000 total guarantees ($7,000,000 full)
As long as the Dolphins dont get teased by Fitzmagic and think they need him for the long term this is a good deal. Fitzpatrick is an upgrade over Tannehill and getting the second season under contract should not only prevnt them from ever thinking extension but should allow them to perhaps get some trade value out of him next season when hopefully they are able to go with a younger QB. If Fitzpatrick and Parker develop any kind of relationship the Dolphins could have two nice trade chips.
1 year, $1,600,000, $275,000 total guarantees ($275,000 full)
A solid contract for a good special teams player. The Raiders tie $320,000 of the deal to per game bonuses and only guarantee an effective amount of $350,000.
1 year, $4,000,000, $3,000,000 total guarantees ($3,000,000 full)
I think this is exceptional value for the Bucs. Barrett had a nice career in Denver before circumstances pretty much rendered his role obsolete. Even still he should have been able to earn more than this in free agency but he seemed to slip through the cracks. I think the pairing of him with this coaching staff could lead to big gains which would benefit him next year in free agency as well as the Bucs this year. This is far better than any of the deals the team made last year in an attempt to patch their defense together.
3 years, $21,000,000, $10,000,000 total guarantees ($10,000,000 full)
I think you can make a strong argument that Callahan was the best available at the start of free agency for this role and the Broncos get him at a price that isn't much more than what the Bears paid Buster Skrine on an annual basis and less than Justin Coleman. Broncos get per gamers in every season of this contract and his guarantee is probably low enough next year that if things went so bad for the team that they had to cut him they could and would recover their money back. This is the benefit of not targeting a player too early in the process.
3 years, $12,450,000, $6,000,000 total guarantees ($4,900,000 full)
Certainly not a major deal to keep their defensive tackle. This about doubles his value from last season but is pretty much right in line with the market for this type of player. Due to their cap issues they probably ended up pushing more money to the future than they would have wanted to but as long as they get two years out of the contract they will be ok with it.
2 years, $5,000,000, $2,750,000 total guarantees ($2,750,000 full)
A small contract that reflects Bellamy's ability as a special teamer. There probably won't be much to expect from him as a receiver but if injuries occur he at least has some experience that you can feel somewhat comfortable running with him.
2 years, $10,500,000, $5,250,000 total guarantees ($5,250,000 full)
I know that veteran leadership will be the thing here, but I dont see this as much different than when the Dolphins signed Lawrence Timmons and that was a move destined for failure from day one. Davis is a good veteran player but so many times players leave those places where they have legendary careers only to struggle when they go to a new environment and no longer have the benefit of the doubt. Unlike the Timmons deal this is just a one year $5.25 million gamble so financially it won't hurt them, but I'm not sure the Chargers were a veteran linebacker away from advancing.
3 years, $33,000,000, $23,000,000 total guarantees ($23,000,000 full)
Had the Broncos just kept Aqib Talib they would not have had to go to the well and pay $11 million per year for Jackson. They guaranteed 2/3 of the contract and I would think that the contract doesnt exactly create harmony with Chris Harris unless they give him a new deal. The cash in this contract drops slightly every year so I would imagine the plan is to eventually transition to safety by year 3. Giving corners hitting 30 this type of contract is always a risk.
4 years, $34,000,000, $20,000,000 total guarantees ($17,000,000 full)
The Cardinals waited out the initial flurry of moves to get a pretty nice deal with a talented player. The concern with Hicks is injuries, but they did get $4 million in per game protection here which is a pretty large number for a contract. The major negative in this contract is the large up front payment in year one of $15 million. Not only is that a high payment but it pretty much all comes in the form of a signing bonus which locks in the first two years and doesnt give you much cap relief if you have to walk away in year 3. Still I'd rather this contract than some of the others signed this week.
4 years, $36,000,000, $19,000,000 total guarantees ($12,000,000 full)
I really liked this signing for the team. Humphries was really productive last season for the Bucs and while there are always questions surrounding a potential one season wonder the Titans didn't exactly back up the truck for him. Humphries only received $12 million in guarantees at signing and thats on a four year deal. The same day we saw Devin Funchess receive close to that on a one year deal and Jamison Crowder $17 million on a three year deal. They also got a nice dip in salary in year 2 and year 3 of the deal while also tying $2 million to health. I think this is very solid value for the team.
5 years, $67,500,000, $33,000,000 total guarantees ($15,900,000 full)
I was surprised that the Vikings jumped back into this after Barr had agreed to a contract with the Jets. In terms of planning by Minnesota this was a rare failure. You dont have someone play out a $12 million option and then turn back and sign him. You missed out on a year of bonus proration and more importantly $12 million in guarantees. To their credit they did get a better deal, IMO, than the Alexander contract with both coming in on the same annual value. Alexander has the slightly higher three year total while the Vikings also got an added season out of Barr on the contract. The Vikings did add some heavy escalators in the deal but the odds of earning them in this defense will be rare. Given where the market went this was a fair number and not that far off from where I figured he would be but they needed to do this deal a year before.
4 years, $51,000,000, $32,000,000 total guarantees ($27,000,000 full)
Can anyone figure out what the Broncos are doing these days? After years of overpaying on the low end they go out and completely blow away the market with a near $13 million per year contract for James. The price here would indicate that maybe there is some thought that he can be the team's left tackle which is the only justification for the number. The only other right tackle to be paid in this range is Lane Johnson who actually would have played left tackle had he left Philadelphia which is a big part of the reason why he was paid like this. James has been little more than a decent right tackle.This is a safer bet those other signings the Broncos have made but it is hard to believe any other team was even within a few million of this one.
4 years, $44,000,000, $22,500,000 total guarantees ($19,000,000 full)
The Titans didn't get caught up in anything regarding Saffold's availability as the best interior lineman and rush out and give him big leverage in a negotiation. Instead they basically offered him a contract right in the context of the market and where many projected him at. $11 million a year is a perfectly fair number for an above average veteran and the $22.5 million guarantee lesser than some lower compensated players. A reasonable split between bonuses and salaries would make it possible to walk away in year 3 if necessary. This should be one of the better pickups of the offseason.
1 year, $10,000,000, $9,500,000 total guarantees ($9,500,000 full)
Nobody can deny that Roby has talent he just has to put it all together and find consistency. This is pretty much the exact contract I expected for him and something that should work for both sides. The Texans take no long term risk and know he wont be a mess on the field. They get to take a close look and then decide on an extension. Roby essentially gets a 2nd rookie option year which is a nice payout. IF he starts outs strong I actually think the Texans should consider a end of the year contract extension similar to what the Eagles did with Alshon Jeffery a few years back.
4 years, $52,500,000, $35,000,000 total guarantees ($27,000,000 full)
You can argue the merits of signing a running back to a contract like this but in terms of how this stacks up to the other big money contracts at the position its a home run for the Jets. Not only will Bell trail both David Johnson and Todd Gurley in pretty much any meaningful metric but the Jets didn't screw things up with some insane structure that saw them use a $20 million signing bonus. Basically they signed him to a lesser deal than his franchise tag this season and deferred the rest of his guarantee to 2020.The Jets played this one right by not going overboard on day one the way it seemed they did with CJ Mosley and Jamison Crowder. Going in fast with players leads to leverage for the player even if its a bunch of BS. The structure of this deal indicates Bell had no real market taking per game bonuses, a poor cash structure, and reporting bonuses to prevent holdouts. Had the Jets got too involved he may have been able to push back with a phantom team the way so many others have. This is a good deal even for a RB considering all the hype surrounding Bell
3 years, $25,500,000, $7,500,000 total guarantees ($7,500,000 full)
A bit of a surprise as Nelson was one of the guys who was part of the Chiefs defense that had trouble stopping anyone, though PFF has thought highly of him the last few years so perhaps there is more than meets the eye there. I would have thought Nelson would have sat a few million less than this in part because of that but maybe contracts for the likes of Robert Alford changed that. The Steelers get their usual low guarantee and the first year is a modest $9 million salary. I do have to think that this will lead even more to Joe Haden looking for an extension and a bigger increase in price.
3 years, $23,000,000, $9,750,000 total guarantees ($7,250,000 full)
I look at this more as a one year, $8 million contract than any type of long term investment. The Titans should be in a win now mode and someone like Wake gives them a better opportunity at $8 million than one of the younger guys that you need to make an investment of $13 to $16 million a year in. This is the same number that the Dolphins have paid Wake the last few seasons so it's in line with his history, though I dont think it is far fetched to say that an older rusher would not have found more than $5 million elsewhere. Still even if that is the case its not an expensive gamble.
5 years, $85,000,000, $45,000,000 total guarantees ($19,750,000 full)
An extraordinary deal for the 49ers. Generally when you negotiate with a franchise player, especially one you are trading for, it means you bend over backwards to get a deal done. 49ers get away with literally one season of meaningful guarantees and a bunch of injury protection afterwards. They work in $750,000 per year in per game bonuses and with a nice split between signing and roster bonus in year 1 they arent putting any future cap at issue if for some reason Ford doesnt work out.
5 years, $85,000,000, $51,000,000 total guarantees ($43,000,000 full)
You cant deny the talent of Mosley but he plays a relatively replaceable position and the Jets paid him as if he was a dominant pass rusher. The best way to describe the deal would be crazy as there was no precedent whatsoever to see a non-rush linebacker even be in the discussion for this kind of contract. You wont find another linebacker with a three year total within $10 million of Mosley's contract. He's about $17 million higher in guarantees than the next closest player and $16 million higher in full guarantees. The Jets got taken for a ride on this contract and have to hope that he has major impact as the new leader of the defense.
4 years, $55,000,000, $32,000,000 total guarantees ($32,000,000 full)
Thomas' numbers were staggering when they came in. $32 million guaranteed at signing topped every other contract for safeties despite Thomas being the oldest player and signing for just four years. His first year cash payment of $22 million is tops in the market by $3.5 million and the signing bonus $5 million higher than the next closest player. It's hard to say who the Ravens were bidding against but they got nothing positive in the contract structure and it was an absolute home run for Thomas. Thomas will be a difference maker if he is healthy but the team just released Eric Weddle who would have likely played the year for $6.5 million with Baltimore. There had to be a better path to a contract than this one.
4 years, $37,500,000, $22,950,000 total guarantees ($22,950,000 full)
The Giants came in with a stunner here. They spent the entire offseason looking they were in pure rebuilding mode before deciding to bring in Golden Tate. Tate is talented and while he didnt have a good run with the Eagles the contract overall is fair value but the structure is questionable. The Giants agreed to a 2019 salary and three year value that tracks with players earning $11-13 million a year. His full guarantee is the 8th at the entire position. Realistically this runs like a 3 year $33 million type of contract with a 4th year thrown in to pad the number down. Getting a low 4th year is always good but for a third contract player its likely meaningless.
2 years, $11,000,000, $6,000,000 total guarantees ($6,000,000 full)
Though I'm not really sure of the fit behind Rivers, the Chargers did get themselves a very capable player in the event Rivers went down for any period of time. While you are not winning a championship with Taylor he should be able to keep the team afloat over a three or four game stretch. At just $5.5 million I think Taylor is undervalued though there may not have been many landing spots this year for him to leverage into anything better.
3 years, $28,500,000, $17,000,000 total guarantees ($17,000,000 full)
I'm not sure I get the plan by the Jets with this one unless its based on input by the coach as he seemed to flock to such receivers in Miami. The Jets lock into two injury prone receivers making over $9 million a season with Crowder and Enunwa and two players who really are best suited to play the same role. I thought this was a mistake by the Jets to make Crowder an early free agent target as those players jump in price when you do that and this is too much for Crowder. That said the cash flows on the deal are favorable for the Jets given the contract size and I like the approach they are now taking with the combined roster and signing bonus rather than so many deals in the past with heavy signing bonuses when it wasnt necessary. The biggest negative on the deal is the $17 million guarantee which tracks with some of the worst deals done by the Dolphins rather than the market for somewhat limited upside players.
2 years, $8,500,000, $5,250,000 total guarantees ($3,250,000 full)
Coleman was expected to be the runner up in the Leveon Bell sweepstakes but he even fell short of that mark. Though I don't know where the 49ers are fitting Coleman in a crowded (and injury prone) backfield but as a contract this is a terrific job for the 49ers, especially when you consider the terrible Jerick McKinnon deal they signed last year. Niners pay just $3.6 million this year and can walk away next season if they don't find a role. This is great value and probably a bit indicative of how the league really views free agent running backs.
3 years, $25,200,000, $17,000,000 total guarantees ($17,000,000 full)
The Jets became an agents dream this year. $17 million is a big number to pay for a player who may have been a one season wonder. The guarantee is 7th highest among veteran 34 defensive ends and 13th among all interior linemen. If the Jets do switch defenses at any point it will likely render him less useful as well. The contract has a high number of incentives that can really bump the value of the deal and those should not be needed when you are already that aggressive on the base value and guarantee package and included no per gamers. The cap structure of the Jets deals has taken a turn for the better this offseason.
2 years, $3,250,000, $1,305,000 total guarantees ($1,305,000 full)
The Patriots will get themselves a nice special teams player for $1.6 million per season, which is a fair price for players that fit his role. The team will get $700,000 in per game bonuses over two years which is always advantageous for a player that could simply be deactivated because the gameplan doesnt call for it.
1 year, $7,000,000, $7,000,000 total guarantees ($700,000 full)
As far as a contract goes this is pretty much the same as the Cameron Wake deal with the Titans. The Titans get some added years in exchange for an extra million but both likely run the same time frame. While the Cardinals have a young QB I'm not really sure I get the fit here from any standpoint.
3 years, $18,000,000, $8,805,000 total guarantees ($6,805,000 full)
This may very well end up being a one year, $7 million contract where Okafor is used to keep a spot warm for a developing rookie. Okafor is a solid pro but the upside is pretty limited. At $6 million a season the value is reasonable though I think they have to get two years out of the contract to potentially realize any real value here. For the price I wonder if they should have considered going to one of the higher upside types in Cam Wake or Terrell Suggs even though the age risk is going to be high.
3 years, $16,500,000, $7,500,000 total guarantees ($6,500,000 full)
Like with many Bengals contracts I guess you have to evaluate these a bit different because they never sign anyone with the intention of even thinking they will cut him. To pay Miller basically 50% of his contract in the first year is crazy except for the Bengals its just more the way they feel like structuring it. Miller isn't really good and should not have come in stronger than AJ Cann but I guess the Bengals saw something here that warranted the three year commitment.
3 years, $15,000,000, $6,500,000 total guarantees ($6,500,000 full)
This is more or less where I expected Ingram's contract to land. It will be a much different look for Ingram who will be going to a completely different style of offense. $6 million in the first year is a good number for him and Ravens need two years out of the contract which is always risky for a 30 year old running back. Still I cant really fault the number and am a little surprised that the Saints passed on seeing if they could match this even with the higher year one payout.
4 years, $66,000,000, $36,250,000 total guarantees ($36,250,000 full)
The Raiders did the right thing in acquiring Antonio Brown, not so sure they did they same by acquiring Trent Brown. Brown was essentially given away by the 49ers for next to nothing last year to go to New England where he played well moving to the left side, but then again so do a lot of guys playing with Brady. The Raiders had also just spent a high pick on a tackle and spending a high pick on a guy who is likely to land on the right side now is not really a smart play. Brown's deal basically builds on the contract signed by the player he replaced, Nate Solder, who signed a 4 year, $15.5 million deal with the Giants a year ago. Brown will have slightly more guarantees and three year cash numbers but does take less home this year. You can argue the pros and cons of that for him given the teams move out of California next year, but with these all cash deals there is always the worry of voiding guarantees depending on the language. That's about the only small downside on this one as they really took the Raiders to town on this contract.
2 years, $8,500,000, $5,250,000 total guarantees ($5,250,000 full)
Hankins is still a productive player that can be a solid presence on the interior. Hankins played about 55% of the snaps for the Raiders last year and is good enough to be a 60% player which is a pretty high number for a defensive lineman. The $4.25 million average comes in just under teammate Justin Ellis which is a good job by the Raiders because Hankins is the better of the two players. Hankins was overpaid by the Colts a few years ago and that run there may have hurt his standing around the league as this is pretty good value and similar players would probably get more.
6 years, $84,000,000, $44,500,000 total guarantees ($31,000,000 full)
The challenge for Collins was to convince teams that the handful of big money safety contracts were still valid and he was able to blow through that with a rather surprising $84 million contract with the Redskins. The 6 year number is something almost never seen for safeties- Eric Berry in 2017 and Jairus Byrd in 2014 are the only players in the current CBA era to pull that off. The contract APY ranks about 5th all time when older contracts are inflated for cap growth and the guarantee only under Berry's inflated $45 million.The Redskins making such a bold statement in what is expected to be a challenging year considering the QB situation reads a bit like a team that just wanted to make a splash after basically sitting on the sidelines since they signed another Dave GEttleman castoff, Josh Norman. The Redskins got two concessions here- a low (relative to the size of deal) 1st year salary and a lower 4th year salary. However the 3 year number just obliterates the field at $45 million as do the guarantees. The contract will feature $21 million in prorated bonus money which will go a long way toward securing his 2022 salary. This is an absolute home run for Collins on almost every level. Collins is a good player who will help the team but definitely a risky signing with this kind of cost and structure.
3 years, $18,750,000, $9,800,000 total guarantees ($6,300,000 full)
This isn't much different than the Boyle signing. Kroft is essentially a run blocking tight end who can be a checkdown option on some plays. He did have 42 receptions in 2017 but only four in five games this past season before he landed on IR.The deal is stronger for the Bills than the Boyle deal is for the Ravens. There is $1.5 million in per game bonuses for Kroft compared to none for the Ravens. $6.3 million vs $10 million guaranteed at signing. A $2.4 million signing bonus vs a $7 million one. So the Bills will have a much easier time escaping this after one year if he develops no chemistry with Josh Allen and doesnt really factor into the offense.
3 years, $16,500,000, $8,500,000 total guarantees ($8,500,000 full)
I'm not sure what the Bears were watching the last few years but I'm guessing not too much of the Jets. Skrine is versatile but average at best. There is also a history of concussions and that should be a red flag to consider for most teams. The Bears guaranteed $8.5 million of the deal including $2 million of his 2020 salary so the team has very limited protection if he does develop an issue during this year. The structure does a strong job of protecting a roster spot next year even if he plays poorly. The Bears are must be banking on him being a better fit due to the strong players they have up front but this is likely a downgrade for the team.
4 years, $36,000,000, $12,000,000 total guarantees ($12,000,000 full)
The Packers were smart to wait out the initial shock of free agency to do this deal. $9 million is a rock solid price for Amos and reflects not being taken in by the skyrocketing contracts. Amos is versatile and should be able to do a lot of things for the defense. As is typical for the Packers there is no guarantee besides the signing bonus though in looking at the cash flows on the deal they will want three solid years out of this or they will likely consider it a mistake. If Amos has one breakout season in him this will be looked at as one of the really good deals of free agency.
5 years, $90,000,000, $56,000,000 total guarantees ($50,000,000 full)
The Lions didn't get too swept up in some of the big numbers being rumored (and eventually being agreed to) for linebackers and second tier rushers to really push the market too hard on the price here. Flowers was really the only legit rusher available and 18M is fair considering how some of those deals came in. The danger for any team with Flowers is that he likely won't put up huge numbers so if the Lions defense doesnt improve overall this is going to be a signing that gets people fired. That said he and Damon harrison should make a terrific tandem next year.As for the structure here that may leave a little something to be desired. A $28 million signing bonus is so high for a defensive player. It makes it so hard to move on from a guy down the line and this is the type of player you may want to have that option with for a trade a few years from now. Its a pure sink or swim signing. If it pays off the moderate cap hits will look pretty good.
4 years, $22,600,000, $10,500,000 total guarantees ($10,500,000 full)
Detroit was in the market for help at the position and this is far less of a gamble than some of the other names coming in over $6 million a year. James had a few nice moments last season with Pittsburgh and is both a decent blocker and a receiver. He is not a standout in either category and thee probably is not a high ceiling but the floor isnt that low either. I still don't really understand the use of the void years here, but otherwise this is a pretty straightforward deal.
4 years, $29,000,000, $14,400,000 total guarantees ($10,700,000 full)
This feels a bit like where the name of the player caries more weight than anything else. Beasley is a nice enough player but I'd ride him on the 3rd tier of players which usually drops you into the sub $6m category. He will be an interesting fit with the Bills who basically have a bunch of guys too run down the field and Beasley to try to bail out the QB underneath. It may work but I think they could have looked at some other players first and held off a bit here. the Bills did get $2 million in per game protection while Beasley did get a nice exchange of offseason $500,000 bonuses.
4 years, $52,000,000, $16,000,000 total guarantees ($16,000,000 full)
I'm not really sure what the Packers saw here. Smith has pretty much spent his entire career as second fiddle to Ryan Kerrigan and still never really produced at a level that warranted a contract that basically matches Kerrigan's when adjusted for cap growth. Smith is coming off his best season per Pro Football Focus, though you could have said the same thing about Nick Perry when the team re-signed him. In fact there are a lot of similarities between the two deals right down to the back to back $4 million roster bonuses. With a $16 million signing bonus this is pretty much a three year pact for $39.5 million.
4 years, $42,000,000, $21,300,000 total guarantees ($16,700,000 full)
Good things come to those who wait and the Raiders benefited by waiting a day here to signed the Rams for franchise player. The Raiders need versatile defensive backs to play in the AFC West and he'll be an immediate upgrade. They continue their all cash approach maybe by as much necessity as design but that leaves them fine if they whiff and want out by year 3.
4 years, $28,000,000, $9,000,000 total guarantees ($9,000,000 full)
The Packers are not used to dealing in free agency and this is likely going to be one of those growing pain contracts. They just shelled out $11 million in first year cash to Turner which is higher tier kind of money. Its the same money earned by Justin Pugh, Ronald Leary,and Ali Marpet who were all considered much better players. With a $9 million signing bonus he isnt going anywhere for at least two years and who know what role he will play. Last year is the only season he got any time and that was really due to injury giving him a chance. Maybe he will work out but he should have been in the group that is about $3M a year less than this.
3 years, $27,000,000, $11,600,000 total guarantees ($10,100,000 full)
I do like this pairing between the Bills and Brown though I question whether or not they had to go to $9 million to get it done. Last year Brown had to settle for a $5 million contract and it is not as if anything different happened last year that should have made him now worthy of a 2nd receiver deal. In that respect they should have just done this kind of deal last season.Structure wise I think this is a win for the Bills. Brown will actually earn less than Beasley this year and just $1.5 million more over two years. Most of the guarantee is gone this year and they did a nice job of balancing their use of the signing bonus with first year salary. They are also making sure to set a format for their contracts this year with the use of per gamers for everyone. this is solid for Brown in that its a nice one year payday if thats all the contract is but looking at this compared to the Beasley structure it sure seems that the team is more sold on Beasley was being cautiously optimistic here.
3 years, $27,030,000, $12,000,000 total guarantees ($10,000,000 full)
The two worries I had with Paradis coming into free agency were age and that he might get dinged for not being suited to play in all offensive systems. The Panthers wrapped him up for a pretty nice $9 million a season with no upside beyond that. They tied $1 million per year to health for Paradis, a pretty incredible number for a player who missed just 7 games in four years. The only negative at all is that the Panthers had to use two voidable years and the way they stacked the contract his third year cap hit is pretty high though they could walk then if they wanted to. If he is healthy this should improve their line tremendously next year.
4 years, $66,000,000, $20,000,000 total guarantees ($20,000,000 full)
Melvin Ingram, Chandler Jones, and... Za'Darius Smith? The Packers put Smith on the franchise player line with this contract that hits $50.25M over three years and he has never been anything close to a franchise player. Did he have a good season in 2018? Sure he did, but this is also the first season he even saw action in at least 50% of the defensive snaps. Green Bay didnt even at least get a fifth year out of this deal to at least give them an added bonus if he does continue to improve and becomes an elite rusher. For the big contracts this is one of the worst two or three of the offseason and will take a major effort to live up to.
4 years, $44,500,000, $26,500,000 total guarantees ($20,400,000 full)
Terrific player but injuries are a major concern having missed 14 games in the last two years. They did get some huge per game bonuses in the first two years of the deal ($1 million per year) bt this contract blows away the field with a $36 million three year value, which is $3.3 million higher than the next closest center. The Bills oddly signed Spencer Long a few weeks ago to a $4.2 million contract so something may have changed on the fly here or they plan on using Long at guard and having him as insurance here. The price reflects that there must have been someone like the Jets involved here because there is little reason to believe they would have done a deal this strong for him if the market was more limited. If he stays healthy its a good pickup, but thats a big if.
3 years, $37,000,000, $21,500,000 total guarantees ($15,000,000 full)
I was surprised to see Richardson finally get a longer term contract. He is certainly a talented player but he comes with so many question marks that I was not sure a team would bite. He should make a great addition to the Browns defensive line and hopefully he has matured from his days on the Jets where he seemingly became difficult to manage. As a contract it is pretty straightforward. They didnt do anything crazy with a signing bonus and really the only downside is that they did guarantee $2 million of his 2020 salary. Given where has played the last two years I think bringing the full guarantee down a bit would have been achievable.
4 years, $36,000,000, $19,000,000 total guarantees ($16,000,000 full)
I'm a little torn on this contract. Do I think Justin Coleman is worth $9 million? Not really but I think the market dynamics changed once we saw Tavon Young sign an extension for $8.6 million a year. That contract was immediately going to be a negative for any team looking to quickly sign a corner in free agency. Would they have benefitted from waiting longer? Probably so but then they may have lost their player. Everything in the contract runs along the standard line for a $9 million per year player.
3 years, $18,250,000, $12,750,000 total guarantees ($12,500,000 full)
There have been some bad deals for guards this offseason and maybe thats because of the few available players this year. Brown has never been a standout and last year struggled, basically limping into free agency. He seemed destined to land on the one year, $3 million line, but there must have been something the Falcons loved because they guaranteed him $12.75 million for two years. This isnt as bad as the Turner deal but its not far off either.
4 years, $21,000,000, $9,250,000 total guarantees ($7,000,000 full)
Carpenter started out his Jets career better than expected but badly tailed off the last two years. Turning 30 isnt a big deal for offensive lineman though I thought that combined with missing 6 games last season would have limited his market more than this. If he can recapture what he was a few years ago he'll be a decent fit. If he plays like last year they will likely pay him his $1.5 million guarantee and then send him packing in 2020.
1 year, $10,000,000, $7,000,000 total guarantees ($7,000,000 full)
This years Donte Moncrief award goes to the Colts, who essentially do the Moncrief deal for Funchess. Funchess has talent and the size that teams love. Unfortunately he limped into free agency when a big season likely would have scored him a $16 million per year deal. Things went so bad last year that there was no significant market really developing for him and the only buzz around him was negative. Unlike Moncrief, Funchess does have upside, but cap space or no cap space there was zero need to pay $10 million to see if that upside exists in a better offense.
3 years, $42,000,000, $26,800,000 total guarantees ($26,800,000 full)
The Chiefs window of opportunity is now so I understand the match here. Mathieu was the most versatile player available and allowed them to greatly improve the secondary but the number on this contract is exactly what got the Cardinals in trouble with Mathieu a few years ago. Surprisingly there are no per game bonuses which are a staple of Chiefs contracts which indicated how badly they wanted him. The best part about the contract is that the two year value is under the $14 million annual value and it would not be surprising to see this be a two year contract.Id like to think if they were expecting more production they would have aimed for a five year deal rather than a three year one.
4 years, $88,000,000, $50,125,000 total guarantees ($45,125,000 full)
This has been the most logical landing spot for Foles since the Blake Bortles experience officially went poof. Dealing with QB contracts is basically like dealing with the devil. They have all the leverage in the world no matter what the situation. Is it fair to say that Foles had no other options than the Jaguars? I think it is but they couldnt risk it over a few million per year. It will be interesting to watch the situation unfold as Foles' has had no real success as a long term starter and this entire contract is based on some nice games in the playoffs. If he plays well expect them to do a new deal two years from now. If not there will be a new GM making decisions.
4 years, $44,400,000, $22,000,000 total guarantees ($10,000,000 full)
I like this contract a lot for Oakland. It's just a one year payout of $10.1 million and the team could walk away after that. That is less than lesser valued guys like John Brown, Cole Beasley, and Golden Tate. Williams was the only receiver from this group that may have had a market as a lower level number one so this was a great job by the Raiders of waiting something out and then making the contract offer. This doesnt turn into a true $11 million per year type contract until year three and by then he will either have proven he is worth it or he is not. The only thing is that they probably wont get added value out of this deal the way other teams might because with Antonio Brown on the team this is essentially the same situation Williams was in in LA with Keenan Allen grabbing so much of the QBs attention.
3 years, $18,300,000, $6,250,000 total guarantees ($6,250,000 full)
I really cant say enough how broken the tight end market is and hopefully once Rob Gronkowski retires there can be a more natural salary spread at the position since he and Jimmy Graham won't act as some kind of block on higher salaries. Standard Bengals fare here with a mid level talent being brought back because he started with Cincy. Uzomah has shown some flashes so it's not as bad as some other deals but still he hasnt done anything more than brief flashes.
1 year, $6,000,000, $3,000,000 total guarantees ($3,000,000 full)
No idea what happened to Williams in free agency and why nothing developed for him. Maybe he was asking for too much early or maybe there are more concerns for his health than I originally thought but this turns into a terrific one year deal for the Panthers. The Panthers, IMO, played this perfectly as well offering just $6 million with an added $500,000 upside but $750,000 downside based on health. They know in a sense this could just be a one year pit stop and for them taking on the risk they cant be paying $8 or $9 million with no protection. Clearly one of the better ones of free agency for the team side.
3 years, $22,500,000, $12,000,000 total guarantees ($9,000,000 full)
Despite all the cap room in the world the Colts have taken a pretty conservative approach to free agency, clearly not wanting to get into the world of overpaying and being willing to chance losing a player because of that. Desir was one of those players who easily could have been lost but since he seemingly did not get first wave free agent interest it allowed the Colts to come in and basically knock down the deals done for players like Alford before free agency began and identify that there were limited landing spots left for him at that point. The team gets one year of meaningful guarantees in the deal by compromising on a $9 million salary which was likely the hope of a per year value by his side. The final two years average $6.75 million in cash and cap charges so if he maintains a strong presence he will be one of the best bargains at the position.
2 years, $10,000,000, $5,000,000 total guarantees ($5,000,000 full)
This is a pretty hefty number for a jack of all trades player whose biggest contribution will likely come as a return guy. Patterson had a nice season with the Patriots and perhaps his willingness to step up in so many roles helped him here especially for a bit of a cap starved squad like the Bears. If he does give them a few productive offensive snaps he may justify the $5 million.
2 years, $10,000,000, $5,500,000 total guarantees ($5,500,000 full)
McCourty certainly played well for the team last season but I have to think part of this contract comes from the fear he may retire if the numbers were not big enough. McCourty basically played the last two years for $3 million a season so thats a pretty decent jump for a veteran player. Now $1.25 million of the contract is tied to health so thats a pretty big percentage of the contract, but overall I have a feeling that this could wind up a one year, $6 million contract.
1 year, $4,500,000, $3,000,000 total guarantees ($3,000,000 full)
Essentially its a $3 million gamble for the 49ers to get something out of the injury riddled Ward. Ward has played just 16 games over the last two seasons and in his five year career only finished with more than 11 games one time. If he is healthy he will earn $4.5 million and probably justify the cost. If he is hurt its $3M+ and likely the end of his run.
5 years, $20,250,000, $9,200,000 total guarantees ($9,200,000 full)
Kickers are one of those positions where either you believe in paying $4M for a guy long term or hoping to find some cheap options each season. The Saints obviously opted for the expensive option. Technically there are a few ways to value this. I'm sure Lutz' camp sees him as the highest paid kicker in the NFL because he could have been tendered as a restricted free agent. The Saints probably view him as a number five. Overall its a pretty fair deal for both sides.
3 years, $5,400,000, $2,800,000 total guarantees ($2,800,000 full)
Is there much of a need for a fullback in todays NFL? Probably not but you could do worse than the Cowboys here. They didnt go into the silly pay ranges that some teams have done at times. About the only real negative on this is that it was a little heavy on cash in the first year of the deal and it may have been better to balance that out in the first two. That probably indicates Dallas does truly see this as a three year contract.
2 years, $10,000,000, $8,200,000 total guarantees ($6,600,000 full)
So in looking at the structure on this contract the Bills are anticipating that he starts at one of the tackle spots this year and then plays a backup role next year. If that is the plan its a pretty fair contract. If he only backs up this year its a lot of money to pay for a backup ($6.3 million) for the season. Given the cap space the team had and the needs on the line they probably shouldnt haggle over a few dollars.
4 years, $54,000,000, $27,500,000 total guarantees ($14,250,000 full)
This was the first of the insane linebacker contracts to come out of free agency. Alexander is a nice player but there are plenty of nice linebackers in the NFL. There are numerous ones usually every year in the draft and free agency is usually flooded with sub $9 million players that are productive. They must have fallen in love with him long before this to have made this type of offer.They did get some of their usual good 49ers stuff in there like the April 1 vesting date and $2.25 million in per game bonuses over the life of the contract, but this is more or less the Anthony Hitchens contract on steroids.
3 years, $22,500,000, $11,250,000 total guarantees ($11,250,000 full)
It's pretty rare that a player gets released and winds up with a better contract but that is what happened with Gipson and the Texans. He's a decent enough player but with all the bodies available they could have found a better bargain. I'm guessing his familiarity with the division maybe played a role in them moving quickly on signing him but I wouldnt be stunned if they end up paying $11 million for one year.
3 years, $16,500,000, $4,800,000 total guarantees ($4,800,000 full)
Bengals got a brief look at Brown last year and I guess liked him enough to do a three year deal this time The Bengals bumped his pay by $1.5M to lock in the next two years which is a fair enough concept, but I'm not sure if they needed to tie themselves down to him. For the Bengals a three year investment really is that so that means they are putting Brown as a long term investment at $5.5 million a year. Even with the increasing LB salaries this year I don't know if that makes much sense. We know the Bengals wont ever get involved in big free agents but sometimes the tie themselves up with the 2nd and 3rd tier guys they do sign and re-sign.
3 years, $30,000,000, $17,000,000 total guarantees ($17,000,000 full)
The Eagles are banking on Jackson returning to the form that he displayed before 2018 when Jackson saw his role decline with the Jaguars. Jackson was still somewhat efficient in the time he was on the field but clearly there was something missing. His PFF grades dropped pretty dramatically last year as well. Normally you would see players like Jackson come in at a max value of $8 million per year so $10 million is certainly pretty nice for him. The $17 million guarantee is very generous for a player who was cut as much for play as cap considerations and they decided to again go to the void year and option bonus structure to better manager their initial cap.
3 years, $18,000,000, $6,500,000 total guarantees ($4,500,000 full)
People I think are reading too much into the annual value of this contract. In essence it's a one year, $4.5 million contract with a two year $13.5 million option. The Jets payout is really low in 2019 relative to the contract size. They used no signing bonus so there would be no dead money next year if he doesnt develop into a capable starter. Roberts had his moments last year and the Jets are so thin at corner they probably had to bring him back. This was a fine way to do just that.
2 years, $9,300,000, $4,000,000 total guarantees ($4,000,000 full)
Three years ago the Chargers signed Mebane to a $4.5 million per year contract and they essentially just inflated that contract for the current salary cap here. Given Mebane's age it would have been nice to see them push for per gamers but that really isnt a Chargers thing anyway. Perfectly fine contract for both sides that keeps a starting piece of the defense in LA.
3 years, $15,055,000, $6,005,000 total guarantees ($6,005,000 full)
This was a solid job by the Jaguars to retain Cann at an affordable $5M a year with really no long term commitment. Guard salaries have been wild the last few years and while Cann is not great he has been pretty durable and passable. That is more than can be said for a few guys who got more than him this year. I assumed he would have been the second or third guard off the board and that didnt happen at all. Jaguars shouldnt regret this deal and have all the major upside if he does play better.
2 years, $10,000,000, $4,500,000 total guarantees ($4,500,000 full)
Im not really sure why Parker agreed to this deal. He must have had an inkling that he had no market even though he is more talented on paper than some of the players earning $7M+ contracts. Taking the one year pay cut would be fine for him but the Dolphins getting a second season at $5 million is great for the team. The Dolphins are clearly in tank mode and if they can help rehab Parker they will be able to move him for a draft pick in 19 or 20 since that second year is so cheap. This is also assuming that whatever friction existed between the Dolphins and Parker last year was the fault of the coach. Anyway I believe Parker could have gotten the same one year payout in a better situation and had his shot at free agency in 2020.
1 year, $4,500,000, $4,250,000 total guarantees ($4,250,000 full)
This does fill the need the Lions had for a third wideout and hes one that should be familiar with some of the staff and fill a role for the year. $4.5 million is more in line with what Amendola's production should be expected to be in an offense, though I do think that waiting things out could have shaved a few dollars off that number though not much because Im sure there was the thought he would just go back to New England under $4M.
3 years, $40,000,000, $27,000,000 total guarantees ($27,000,000 full)
This is a pretty big number for a for a 31 year old pass rusher who is basically a 5.5 sack player. He does get a high number of pressures and is certainly disruptive and as long as the Eagles maintain a solid team nobody will complain about the sack production. The Eagles have gone all in at this point with big signing bonuses and voidable years and this contract is no different. I'm not sure where the cap will be headed in the future but they are setting themselves up to work the same way that the Cowboys and Saints have worked for years.
2 years, $12,050,000, $4,900,000 total guarantees ($4,900,000 full)
This is a good deal for both sides as it pretty much sits right on the line for a low cost linebacker before the big drop to the minimum salaried kind of players. $1.6 million of the contract is tied to being on the field which is a concern with him. The first year salary is also lower than the second year by $1 million which makes this a safer investment for the Chargers. If he can stay healthy this could wind up a nice two year deal. If he can't it was a relatively low cost risk for a former 2nd round player with some talent.
2 years, $10,502,050, $5,250,525 total guarantees ($5,250,525 full)
This is a terrific signing for both sides. The Rams get one of the top safeties in the NFL for just $5.25 million with a $1M upside for each season. Weddle gets a good opportunity to get a ring and ride off into the sunset with a championship. The Rams are a win now team and outside of a monster money deal for Earl Thomas there was probably not a better fit for them. The contract contains an option in 2020 that if not picked up, or he retires, will lead to some added cap savings in 2020. As an added bonus the Rams were able to use their palindrome structures with this one.
2 years, $22,000,000, $15,000,000 total guarantees ($12,000,000 full)
An interesting extension that came down out of nowhere and actually kept his salary cap number exactly the same as it was before the extension. I think this was a shrewd move by the Steelers who may have been worried about what Matt Paradis could land in free agency this week and knew they wanted to make Pouncey the highest paid center in the NFL. This allowed them to make sure they could get in underneath that number. With a $9 million signing bonus this is an easy deal to walk away from in 2021 if they want to do so. There has not been a lot of good news out of Pittsburgh the last month but this was a nice one that was buried by all the other news.
2 years, $2,700,000, $550,000 total guarantees ($550,000 full)
The basic "we like you but not enough to tender you at the lowest level" contract. Braunecker plays a lot of special teams for the Bears and while not a standout there is value in that. He does get some incentives but those are only going to be earned if he becomes a productive part of the offense. If he does the Bears wont complain about those numbers. Most of the guarantee is all accounted for this season with just $150,000 possibly hitting the cap next year if they decide to cut him.
3 years, $12,000,000, $3,500,000 total guarantees ($3,500,000 full)
My first thought was that this was a little high for a player who really has only had one season with the 35%+ playtime usually needed to hit the $4M mark, but the Texans did protect themselves here pretty well. The team has $1.5 million in per game bonuses which can bring the value way down, included no incentives, and no signing bonus. That means that if they want to they can walk away next season with nothing on the cap and a one year run for $4M. If he regresses they can walk, if he continues to play at that level he'll be fair value, and if he plays incredibly well they have a steal by getting the three years.
2 years, $6,500,000, $1,250,000 total guarantees ($1,250,000 full)
A nice little low risk deal that fits what the Dolphins rebuilding approach. Miami really should be staying out of free agency for the most part and Allen at $3.25 million is no worse than some of the deals coming in around $6 million a season. Allen also does not count in the comp pick process to better insulate Miami for lost players like James. Allen isn't a world beater by any stretch but physically he is more talented the players on the roster at the position. The only guarantee is a $1.25 million roster bonus which probably even gives them some trade value in the summer if they don't need him and can find a late pick from someone who does.
1 year, $12,000,000, $12,000,000 total guarantees ($12,000,000 full)
With an extension for Jared Goff on the horizon and questions about Todd Gurley's knees the Rams are in a mode where they should be looking to put as much as they can in their team this season in an effort to win a Super Bowl. Fowler comes with all kinds of red flags, but the Rams did see him up close last season so they should know the negatives that exist. I do think $12 million even for the year is expensive, but I think once that Brandon Graham contract came down with the Eagles the expectation was that this could be a crazy free agent period for rushers and thus far it has been exactly that with large contracts being given out to Preston and Za'darius Smith. Fowler is more talented than both and given the Rams immediate needs they also dont get locked into a long term deal. In essence the Rams really just bought back his option year with this number. Fowler should get a chance to make huge money next year if he has a good season.
3 years, $16,150,000, $6,500,000 total guarantees ($5,500,000 full)
One of the more puzzling signings of free agency. Hart was terrible with the Giants before being released and picked up by the Bengals. He was also pretty awful with the Bengals. PFF has never graded him even at a 60 level in his four years in the NFL but there he is now around $5.5 million a year. Knowing its the Bengals that means he isnt going anywhere unless he is so bad that they have no choice to cut him so this is a true three year commitment regardless of the guarantee. This is right in line with the awful deals that the Broncos had done in recent times to fix the right side of their line.
2 years, $8,250,000, $3,150,000 total guarantees ($3,150,000 full)
Nice job by the Steelers to lock up Foster on the eve of free agency and keep him with the team. Even as an older player there was likely to be a decent market for him just because of the nature of the position. The $4.2 million contract is probably relatively fair value for Foster maybe a bit on the lower end but my assumption is he has a good chance of earning the full two years as a Steelers whereas as a free agent he probably would have had a higher payout this year but not earned as much overall. For the most part this is just a natural continuation of his last contract.
3 years, $18,000,000, $10,000,000 total guarantees ($10,000,000 full)
The tight end position is basically broken when it comes to contracts. The top of the market has been capped off for so many years now that there is just this logjam of guys who all make around $6 million a season. Boyle is basically a good blocking tight end with limited upside as a receiver and that should have landed him lower than this. In general it seems as if the contract was based on an awful deal that the Bears did with Dion Sims two years ago except with a much higher signing bonus. I have the same issues with this as I would have had with Sims and for the Ravens to really capitalize on this contract Boyle is going to have to grow more and more into a receiving role, otherwise this is near double what you should be paying for a solid blocking tight end.
1 year, $4,500,000, $2,000,000 total guarantees ($2,000,000 full)
Certainly $4.5 million isnt going to hurt a team with huge amounts of cap space but I'm not sure there was anyone clamoring for Phillips in free agency anyway. At the least I would say this is overvalued by $1 million as almost every 30%-40% type interior lineman ends up with that salary. At $4.5M he is just under Justin Ellis who was, at the time of signing, a much better player. Surprisingly there is nothing tied to being active on gameday which should be a given when you have a decent size deal like this. By doing a one year deal they also gain zero upside if Phillips finally lives up to his potential.
1 year, $4,250,000, $0 total guarantees ($0 full)
There are two aspects to this one. On the contract side this is fine. The Cowboys guaranteed no money, have $2.25 million tied to actually being active, all terms that are better than his original contract. From the football side though I don?t understand why they are going back to the past. I know that finding tight ends is relatively expensive for what they have proven and Witten is a given but do they really need a 37 year old that is going to average around 9 yards a pop? I get the leadership aspect Dallas may be looking for but at this point this has to be Dak Prescott's team and he should be the face of the franchise.
2 years, $3,780,000, $750,000 total guarantees ($750,000 full)
From a pure contract perspective this is fine. They nearly slashed the veterans salary in half from where it was last year and his role certainly hasn?t changed. Given hes been with the team a few years you cant go t o the minimum even if that is what his market may be at this point. That being said I am not sure why Schaub is the answer here. I guess they have confidence that he can play a few snaps in the event of a minor injury to Ryan but I think they could look elsewhere for a higher upside type.
2 years, $9,000,000, $4,500,000 total guarantees ($4,500,000 full)
Hunt had a good season for the Colts last year racking up 13 tackles for loss and 5 sacks while playing in nearly 70% of the defensive snaps for the team. He's found a home with the Colts and while Hunt is not going to be an exciting player this helps keep the team from creating a hole while also leaving the possibility open to slit him with a rookie or free agent signing. This is a bit higher than someone his age would likely get as a free agent but $1 million is tied to being active and the Colts stuck with thier strategy of no signing bonus to eliminate any dead money next year. Those are all positives for what has a good chance of being a one year contract.
2 years, $6,800,000, $3,575,000 total guarantees ($3,425,000 full)
This is a terrific signing by the Lions. Okwara improved greatly last season and did find his way into 7.5 sacks. Though that number is more than just a bit fluky my guess is he could have possibly been in line for a 2nd round tender anyway. For about $600,000 more they locked him up for an additional year at $3.2 million. There are a few incentives that can bump the value of the deal up by another $2.2 million but if hits those nobody will complain about it. In essence this is a one year $3.7 million extension with $375K guaranteed once you factor in the RFA tender. If he builds on last season this will be a steal. The only negative on this at all is the fact that they used a void year for reasons I can not understand at all.
3 years, $17,627,000, $12,649,000 total guarantees ($7,849,000 full)
The basis for this deal I'll assume was the Glowinski contract with the Colts. Both, per PFF grading, showed improvents over time though Glowinski certainly showed in his most recent year. As far as contracts go I like the Glowinski one better. Glowinski pays out $6.2M over a year and $10.25M over two. Just $4.2M is guaranteed. Seumalo will earn $7.9M in the first year and $11.9M over two with about $7M in new guarantees at signing and over $12M protected for injury. They also used the void year here which is becoming far too much of a norm for the Eagles.
3 years, $24,500,000, $19,000,000 total guarantees ($10,500,000 full)
The Eagles are certainly at the front of the NFL in making sure they have a financially happy locker room. Was there a need to do this contract? Not really. Maybe they were fearful he would retire and wanted to up the contract to prevent that from happening. In looking at the way the year by year on this deal works out this is probably a two year contract worth $19 million, about a $6 million raise from his prior deal, all with some form of guarantee. His third year salary drops so much that either its not expected that he will play on it or they would give him another new deal at that point. They went with three voidable years here to account for both a signing and an option bonus, leaving them with $7.228 million in dead money when his deal is up. My gut feeling is that they are going to try to dump it all into 2020 after the regular season. Kelce is a fine player but the need just wasnt there for this and the structure is something else.
3 years, $41,250,000, $27,000,000 total guarantees ($27,000,000 full)
This reminds me of the Nate Solder contract with the Patriots from a few years back where you are not really sold on the player so you find a way to do a shoter term deal to make it work financially for both sides. Smith was going to get franchise tagged at over $14 million if this did not happen and any time you can take a franchise tag player and actually reduce his earnings in the first contract year you have done a pretty good job. The two year is also under the back to back tag figure so this is a much better way to go than the tag route which would have been a negative for them. Reportedly there are also salary deferrals which makes the cash aspect of this more advantageou and technically lowers the value. Is Smith a franchise player? No, but this is what the left tackle market is. If you start and have a pulse you get paid and Smith hasnt missed a game and has been passable. This is a short window team and with that short window drafting and developing another tackle probably wasnt going to work.
2 years, $2,150,000, $325,000 total guarantees ($0 full)
The Giants' options here were to use a $2M tender or wait until free agency to make a low offer. I think getting a deal done in February that guarantees him a few hundred thousand while maxing out at $1 million and change unless he starts.
3 years, $8,250,000, $2,700,000 total guarantees ($2,450,000 full)
Person has been a minimum salary player for a few years now, but has played at a level that deserved more than that last year. With guard salaries exploding to sign a player who has played over 80% of the snaps in two of the last three years for $2.75M this year with the ability to keep the next two seasons at $2.5M and $3M if he plays well is pretty solid. At worst they overpay a low level vet for one season to keep some continuity while at best they have a really cheap quality starter.
1 year, $6,500,000, $500,000 total guarantees ($500,000 full)
Originally I was giving this an F as $7 million for Greg Robinson is simply crazy. Last year Robinson basically had to fight for a minimum deal and one year later you hand over $7 million after a few starts? That said the guarantee is low so in a sense if they do find someone in the draft they at least have an out in this one. Still it is hard to find anything else beneficial in this deal left tackle or not as they didnt even get a second year to opt into in the event he balls out. If he starts the whole year he'll earn $9 million. This reads more like a "well we have cap space" and a shrug of the shoulders kind of contract than any kind of actual valuation being done by the team.
3 years, $25,800,000, $13,000,000 total guarantees ($13,000,000 full)
No idea what the explanation for this contract is. Young saw his playing time decrease to the 50% range last season and missed all of 2017 with an ACL injury. Hes a former 4th round pick so its not like there was a high grade on him to begin with. The structure of the contract is incredibly player friendly. He will earn $14.45 million in new money by the end of 2020, technically the first year of the extension, most of which is guaranteed. That first year payout tops both AJ Bouye and Malcolm Butler who are $12M+ per year corners. A $10 million signing bonus on a three year extension gives him terrific protection of the non-guaranteed salary in 2020 since the cost to cut is so high ($7.5M) on the salary cap. Essentially this is a market setter in a similar way to the Jets $6.25M deal for Buster Skrine a few years back except that was at least in free agency and Skrine was a bit more accomplished at the time. For the Ravens to get value out of this they need Young to play out the entire contract.
1 year, $2,000,000, $350,000 total guarantees ($350,000 full)
Originally reported as a $3.25M contract this deal carries a base value of just $2 million, of which around 50% of it is tied to health. I was always very critical of Clay in Buffalo because of the outlandish contract they gave him but if the Cardinals get competent QB play Clay is a solid veteran that can get them 400-500 receiving yards and a few scores, which is worth far more than the $2 million they are paying him. Even if he maxed his contract out and produced at those numbers its still a pretty low cost deal given where the position has gone salary-wise in recent seasons.
3 years, $14,250,000, $6,000,000 total guarantees ($5,000,000 full)
I'm never a fan of the contract where you take essentially a reserve player who finally had a few good games and then go the longer term route. This essentially seems like the exact same deal the Broncos gave to Donald Stephenson a few years ago, a deal which the Broncos were ready to get out of after just one season. The deal will make Sambrailo the 16th highest paid right tackle on the NFL in terms of annual value. Still the contract is at the bottom tier for the higher paid right tackles which bottoms out with James Hurst at $4.4M a season. Hurst did come off a much better year when he signed his extension in Baltimore though Sambrailo is a higher drafted talent. After that number the market basically bottoms out for veterans at under $2 million a season with most playing for the minimum. My feeling is he belongs more in that range but given his 2nd round draft grade probably would not have wound up there if the Falcons did not do this deal. It's only $2 million in dead money next year so at worst its a 1 year $5.25 million gamble.
4 years, $15,500,000, $6,500,000 total guarantees ($6,500,000 full)
The world of kicker contracts is generally pretty consistent. Either you pay between $3 and $4 million for what you hope is a long term solution or you go cheap and find a player off the scrap heap. The Jaguars opted for the former and it slots right in with everyone else. The Jaguars did get some per game bonuses in the contract which is a solid addition for a player who has missed a few games and at a position where sometimes you may just want to try someone new even if just for a week.
3 years, $12,600,000, $1,200,000 total guarantees ($1,200,000 full)
One of the more complicated contracts I would imagine that will be seen all offseason. The gut reaction on this is that it’s a bad use of dollars for the Bills. Long was downright awful last season. He couldn’t snap the football nor could he block well. It was blamed on injuries but the fact that the Jets cut him should say it was not just that. Still the Bills put a bunch of qualifiers in this deal for protection. Only $1.2M of the deal is guaranteed. $1.25 million per year is based on being active on Sunday. There are large de-escalators that can kick in as well as performance based bonuses. There are also multiple options. Could the Bills have gotten a cheaper straight forward contract if they waited longer? I strongly believe that this is the case but this is also nowhere near what I originally thought when it was reported he signed for over $4 million a year.
3 years, $22,050,000, $10,000,000 total guarantees ($9,000,000 full)
At the time of the signing, this contract made Reid the 10th highest paid safety at the position. His overall number is basically right in line with so many other players who signed between $6 and $7 million the last two or three years and this is around where Reid should have been as a free agent last season. The Panthers made out well here with just a $10 million guarantee package, which is around where $5.5 to $6 million per year players would normally be. They also negotiated a strong level of per game bonuses that give them downside protection. Reid did get a strong first year overall payment and full guarantee though, specifically a pretty large signing bonus relative to the size of his contract. Why the Panthers continue to operate that way is beyond me and this is why they sometimes have cap issues down the line with players.
1 year, $1,625,000, $250,000 total guarantees ($250,000 full)
Reed is a pure rotational player at this stage of his career. He doesn’t bring much upside but he's a solid enough professional that is steady in all aspects of the game. He also plays some special teams. For $1.625 million he is a good value. Most players that would be in his role would likely command double that. They guaranteed him next to nothing, have some per game bonuses as protection, and a very small incentive package. That was a good job of being able to likely take advantage of a situation where a player was cut and did not want to play the waiting game of free agency.
3 years, $22,500,000, $13,450,000 total guarantees ($8,950,000 full)
An incredibly aggressive signing by the Cardinals, pouncing nearly immediately after Alford was released by the Falcons. It is rare that you see a player who is released get a raise but Alford received that with a chance to earn $500,000 more this season with Arizona than he would have in Atlanta plus $13.45 million in injury protection. Among cornerbacks who signed off the street Alford now ranks third in annual value behind only the more accomplished Richard Sherman and Joe Haden, both of whom are playing for around $9 million a season. He is $2 million higher than the majority of the market which is at $5 million for cut players. From a guarantee perspective he is far and away first and in terms of first year cash is just slightly below Sherman. Per PFF, Alford had slipped greatly this season in coverage and really only has had one season as a true top tier number 2 corner. This signing may speak to the lack of quality corners available in free agency and the draft but they either should have been able to get a better value and/or a younger player. Investing two years in a 31 year old corner who was just released so quickly doesn't seem to be optimal decision making.