New England’s trade for Albert Haynesworth seemed like a typical Patriots low-risk, high reward gambit. The move looks like an even lower risk following news of Haynesworth’s restructured contract.
Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reports Haynesworth took a pay cut in base salary all the way from $5.4 million base salary to $1.5 million. That’s quite a haircut, but Haynesworth can make back all the money in incentives if he has a terrific season.
If Haynesworth plays 20% of the team’s snaps, he gets $1 million. He then gets an additional $590,000 once he gets over each of the following playing time thresholds: 45% of the team’s snaps, 50%, 55%, 60%, and 65%. He gets an additional $400,000 if he makes the Pro Bowl.
Haynesworth has a base salary of $6.7 million for 2012, so he’ll have to play very well to avoid getting cut after 2011.
The Patriots are getting their proverbial cake and making sure Haynesworth isn’t eating it too. He will be highly motivated to stay on the field to earn his incentives, and the Patriots can cut him more easily at any time without a huge financial risk.