Chargers tackle Marcus McNeill has signed a six-year deal with the Chargers. It’s a five-year extension of his one-year restricted free agent tender of $630,000, which has a prorated value of $444,705.
Scant details were available previously. We’ve now obtained comprehensive information regarding the bonuses and guarantees.
The six-year deal has a base value of $48.98 million, which equates to an average of roughly $8.15 million per year. He gets a signing bonus of $1.791 million and his $444,705 salary for the rest of the year.
For 2011, his $10 million base salary is guaranteed for injury only at signing. It becomes guaranteed for injury, skill, and salary cap as of the third day of the 2011 league year.
A 2012 base salary of $10.5 million becomes guaranteed for injury if he’s on the roster as of the third day of the 2011 league year. The money becomes guaranteed for skill, injury, and cap if McNeill is on the roster on the first day of the 2012 league year.
For 2013, McNeill’s base salary is $7.75 million. Of that amount, $1.75 million becomes guaranteed for injury if he’s on the roster on the third day of the 2012 league year.
For 2014, McNeill is due to earn a non-guaranteed base salary of $8.75 million. In 2015, McNeill will earn a non-guaranteed base salary of $9.75 million.
Key points? First, only $11.791 million is guaranteed at the time of signing, and $10 million of the $11.791 million isn’t fully guaranteed.
Second, the fact that the $10 million due in 2011 becomes fully guaranteed and another $10.5 million due in 2012 becomes guaranteed for injury on the third day — not the first day — of the 2011 league year wasn’t an accident or a coincidence. The Chargers can cut McNeill loose after two days of big money has flowed in free agency, avoiding $20.5 million in full and partial guarantees, and strike a more team-friendly deal. They also can sign a replacement for McNeill on one of the first two days of free agency and simply walk away from McNeill altogether, if they so choose.
Third, though it’s being described as a five-year, $48.5 million with $30 million paid in the first three years, year one doesn’t come until 2011. And, as mentioned above, all but the $1.791 million signing bonus can be avoided if the Chargers cut McNeill by the third day of the 2011 league year.
So it’s a good deal, but not a great deal. As guarantees go, it’s actually a lot better than the contract signed earlier this year by Jets tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson, even though Ferguson’s annual average is much higher, at $10 million.