Thanks to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk the full details of the Dwayne Bowe extension are now available. Bowe will now become the 3rd highest paid WR in the league on a 5 year $56 million dollar contract. The deal contains $20 million in full guarantees and significantly more in virtual guarantees. It comes very close to the deal I suggested of 5 years $57.8 million with 20 million in full guarantees and $38 million in the first three years. My guess is he could have gotten a touch extra in free agency but normally players do give slight discounts to home teams to take the question mark out of the whole process and that is what happened here. Based on Florio’s report this is the cap structure for Bowe over the next 5 years:
|Base Salary||Prorated||Workout||Cap Charge||Dead Money||Savings||Cash Flow|
The important contract to compare this to is that of Vincent Jackson. Jackson received $26 million in full guarantees when he signed with $36 million due in the first three years. Jackson received no signing bonus on the initial deal but did restructure in December to gain prorated money protection in his contract. Because prorated money accelerates when a player is cut it adds a layer of protection to a contract in addition to the real guarantees. One of the reasons Jackson surpasses Bowe in real guarantees is because he had zero protection for his third year salary since there was no dead money cost associated with releasing him, something I had touched on in the Bowe valuation from a few weeks ago.
Bowe has that protection. Even compared to Jackson’s current deal Bowe will carry a $9 million dollar dead cap hit in 2015 plus an additional $1.5 million in salary that will become fully guaranteed in early 2014 according to Florio. That means Bowe, if on the team in 2014, will carry an $11.5 million dollar dead cap charge to cut. Jackson is only protected to the tune of $7.296 million. It makes this a much stronger contract for Bowe.
Now that the market is clearly intact Mike Wallace and Greg Jennings will try to state their cases that they deserve this kind of money. Personally I feel Bowe is a better player based on a number of statistical factors, but all it takes is one team to think otherwise to get a bigger deal done.
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.