In the latest example of how contract information gets inflated to make the player (and his agent) look better, we’re told that the contract signed last week by Cowboys receiver Roy Williams contained not $27 million in guaranteed money, but only (only?) $19.5 million.
The difference in this one lies in the details.  If an option bonus isn’t exercised, there’s a mandatory payment that pushes the guaranteed money to $27 million.  If the option bonus is exercised, the guaranteed money drops to $19.5 million.
The additional payment is routinely employed in order to ensure that teams will choose to exercise the option bonus.  But basing the assessment of the guaranteed money on a non-exercise fee that for all practical purposes never will be paid is misleading.
Beyond that, we’re told that the contract indeed is worth $45 million in new money over the five new years of the deal.  There’s also a sixth year at a $9 million salary.  It’s unknown why the sixth year wasn’t included in the original reports regarding the value of the contract.
As a practical matter, the truth on this one might make Terrell Owens a bit less uncomfortable with the package given to Williams.  That said, they both are making $9 million per year.