Leverage isn't leverage unless you use it. We should offer him a "reasonable" contract now, pay him well, just not in the overpaid Mario Williams neighborhood. I'd give him $24M signing bonus (Mario got $19M & only $25M guaranteed
) & guarantee the next three years of salary, $1M, $6M, $6M (another $13M)....... Overall value of the 6 year deal would be ~$60M. He gets 40% of it up front, 60% guaranteed ($37M).
I'm willing to do 5 years for $60M, I'm willing to go as far as $74M for 6. Either way, if he's worth it I'm looking to renegotiate in 2018 anyway.
So I'm looking at anything from $10M/yr (this is where we start) to $12M/yr. Which is less than the $16M/yr of Mario's contract. But I'm putting 26% more money in Jj's pocket right off the bat. & he's guaranteed 50% more.
The offer won't change next year, & it won't change after 2015 when he's a free agent. He can take the money now, or risk injury, or two sub par seasons in a 2 gap 3-4.