Alrighty, I got some time to review some contracts. Let's look at CJ's. He signed a 6 yr(s) / $55,260,000 this past offseason after a holdout. PFT does a good job explaining it:
Last week, the Titans signed running back Chris Johnson to a four-year extension, with a new-money average of $13.4 million. The full details, for those interested (all five of you), are now available.
Per a source with knowledge of the deal, Johnson received a $10 million signing bonus, along with a $3 million fully guaranteed base salary in 2011.
In 2012, Johnson will receive a base salary of $8 million. The base salary is guaranteed for injury only at the time of signing. It becomes fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the 2012 League Year.
The base salary reduces by $250,000 if Johnson doesn’t participate in the team’s offseason workout program. It drops by another $300,000 if he doesn’t rush for 1,000 yards in 2011.
In 2013, Johnson’s salary is $10 million, $9 million of which is guaranteed for injury only now. It becomes fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the 2013 League Year. The salary drops by $250,000 if he fails to complete the offseason workout program.
In 2014, Johnson’s salary is $8 million, with the same $250,000 de-escalator. Ditto for 2015.
In the final year of the deal, Johnson’s salary will be $7 million, with a $2 million roster bonus due on the seventh day of the 2016 League Year. The base salary can drop by up to $2 million based on rushing yards, along with a potential $250,000 reduction based on participation in offseason workouts.
It works out to a be a six-year, $56 million deal. That’s an average of $9.3 million.
AP's deal was 7 yr(s) / $96,000,000 (+ some incentives):
Peterson agreed Saturday to a contract extension with the Vikings that includes $36 million in guaranteed money and as much as $100 million over the next seven years if he plays that long with Minnesota. A league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that Peterson will receive $40 million over the first three years of the deal.
Peterson also will get $1 million each time he rushes for at least 1,250 yards, a source familiar with the contract told ESPN's Schefter. Peterson has done that in each of his first four seasons, when the fewest rushing yards he had in any season was 1,298. Under the terms of his contract, Peterson can do this three times for $3 million total. He also has another $1 million in incentives based on the Vikings' regular-season and playoff results over the life of the contract.
So the big differences between these two deals is:
1. The average $ per year 9.3 mill for CJ and about 13.7 mill for AP
2. CJ got a 10 mill signing bonus and AP got none
3. CJ got 30 mill gtd and AP got 36
4. CJ will make 40 million in the first 4 years, wheras AP will make that much in 3 years. So AP gets his money faster, but has a longer deal.
5. Cap hit cuts. AP can be cut or traded outright in year 4 after being paid 40 million for 3 years of service. CJ's cost to the team if cut or traded in the 4th year will be 4 million in 2014 with a total of 31 mill paid to him for 3 years of work. It will still cost the team 2 mill to cut him in 2015 due to his signing bonus, which would make him cost 39 mill for 4 years of work.
So ask yourself if you were a GM, which contract is more friendly to the team and mitigates your risk? Is it better to forego the signing bonus and guarantee more money instead?
I personally like the AP approach to the contract situation because if the RB gets banged up badly down the road, it's easier to cut him. I think it's reasonable to assume at least 3 more years of production out of Foster and probably more, but it's best for the team to have an out if they need to use it. It also means you can trade him down the road without a hit on your cap due to signing bonus acceleration. If we could sign him for a little less than CJ money, 6 years 50 million 32 gtd, but without the big signing bonus, I would be happy with that. I think he's worth 8 million a year + some incentives. I just hope the contract is heavy on incentives like AP's deal.