We explained last night the realities of the new contract signed by Jets left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson. It’s a one-year, $5.3225 million contract with a team-held option on the balance of the deal — and not a single dollar guaranteed for injury.
There’s more stuff about the deal that is worth mentioning.
First, the contract widely has been reported as having new money worth $60 million over six years, giving Ferguson (and his agent) the ability to boast of a $10 million annual average.
But the contract includes $1.3 million in incentives that become earned only if Ferguson participates in 97 percent or more of the special teams plays in 2015 and 2016 — and if he blocks at least seven punts each year.
Yes, the team’s starting left tackle cannot hit the maximum value of his deal without blocking seven punts in 2015 and seven punts in 2016.
A similar term appeared in receiver Brandon Marshall’s contract with the Dolphins, allowing him (and his agent) to call the contract a five-year, $50 million package.
The contract also contains $4 million in what’s called a “training camp completion bonus.” The annual payments in the amount of $1 million, due in 2014 through 2017, are available only if the player shows up for all of training camp, and “fully and satisfactorily participates” in it. The device likely is aimed at raising the stakes of a holdout four or more years from now, if/when Ferguson looks at the balance of the contract and compares it to contracts signed by other left tackles over the next four years and concludes that he wants a new deal.
If he makes his displeasure known at any point in 2014 through 2017 by showing up even one day late for camp or lollygagging once he gets there (not that any NFL player would ever do that), Ferguson loses the money.
Chances are that Ferguson won’t be thrilled with this deal at some point in the future, even if he avoids serious injury in 2010 and triggers the future base salaries that are guaranteed for skill only.