Amid widespread reports that the Raiders paid receiver Javon Walker $21 million for two years of football, multiple sources with knowledge of the contract tells us that, in reality, Walker received “only” $14 million for 2008 and 2009.
Walker appeared in eight games during his first year, and in only three in 2009. He caught 15 passes in 2008 and none in his second season.
So he didn’t earn $1.4 million per catch. He made $933,000.
The deal initially was reported as being a six-year, $55 million contract with $27 million paid in the first three years and $16 million guaranteed. In 2009, Walker took a dramatic pay cut, giving up a $5 million roster bonus and cutting $22 million off his base salaries over the balance of the deal, including a reduction in his 2009 pay from $4 million to $2 million. The move by Walker was not as charitable as it was pragmatic; without the reduction, he would have been dumped.
While we haven’t seen the specific breakdown for the first two years of the deal, the cuts from 2009 saved $7 million, which we assume accounts for the difference between $21 million and $14 million.