QB Jordan Love signed his contract with the Packers today and according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo it’s fully guaranteed.
#Packers QB Jordan Love received a fully guaranteed four-year $12,383,470 contract, sources say. Signing bonus: $6,566,160. It's the first time the No. 26 pick received a fully guaranteed deal under the current rookie contract system.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 1, 2020
Normally I don’t make a big deal about any rookie signings unless there is something really unusual but this one seemed to pick up some steam with Packers fans because a point was made about the guarantee being different. It’s really not.
The rule of thumb for rookie contracts is that each year the fully guaranteed contracts grow by one slot. Last year the 24th pick in the draft, Josh Jacobs, received a fully guaranteed contract from the Raiders. That meant that this year the 25th pick in the draft would have been expected to earn a fully guaranteed contract, which Brandon Aiyuk indeed did receive just the other day.
Quarterbacks often do receive a minor premium so you could chalk this up to that or to the Packers simply not wanting to waste time haggling over a few dollars and when I mean few I do mean few. The guarantee would have been expected to be about 98.5% of the total contract value so all in all they are guaranteeing an extra 1.5% of the contract, or about $186K of a $12.38M contract. Who knows maybe the Packers even got a slight concession in bonus payout and in return just did this. In any event it sounds great but its not a big deal at all.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports was able to get some details on Cam Newton’s contract with the Patriots and as I expected the other day it is for the minimum and allows the Patriots to tag him next year.
Cam Newton contract: 1 yr $1.05m minimum base. Just $550k guaranteed at signing Up to $6.45m in incentives/per game roster bonuses. And no clause restricting a 2021 franchise tag. Patriots get a former MVP for less than many pay backup OL— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) July 1, 2020
There were a few tidbits I found interesting here. One is that the guarantee is $550,000. That tells me that Newton has a split salary for the year in the event he lands on the PUP list or IR. A split salary is a lesser amount than the player’s stated paragraph 5 salary and it kicks in if the player is not on the 53 man roster. It’s possible that this is Covid related and would go away upon passing a physical but my assumption is that they have some protection here for the full season.
La Canfora also mentioned per game bonuses as part of the contract. The Patriots are very tight on cap space so it is probably not a high number. Given that Joe Flacco has $450,000 in per game bonuses I would anticipate that given we are talking $6.45M in incentives that the 0.45 part is a match on Flacco’s contract. Flacco also has $500,000 tied to active wins in the regular season so I would not be surprised if some of the incentives match up here. If this is the case then Newton should have a cap number of $1.1 million and allow him to sneak in just under the
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.