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Four years, $18 million for Reggie Nelson

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On offense, teams have been paying veteran running backs less and less money.  Veteran safeties seem to be lagging behind their teammates on the defensive side of the ball.

Reggie Nelson, a one-time first-rounder who drew an offer from the Jets, inked a four-year, $18 million contract to stay with the Bengals, according to a source with knowledge of the deal.

For 2012, Nelson gets a $2.5 million signing bonus, a $2.5 million roster bonus, and a $1.45 million base salary.

In 2013, Nelson is due to receive a $1 million roster bonus and a base salary of $2.45 million.

The deal concludes with base salaries of $3.8 million and $4.1 million, respectively, in 2014 and 2015.

The $4.5 million average is $1.1 million per year more than the deal signed by safety Dwight Lowery with the Jaguars, who received $3 million to sign and a guaranteed 2012 base salary of $1 million.  For safety Steve Gregory, his deal with the Patriots pays out $7.05 million over three years, with $2.5 million guaranteed and a $2.35 million average.  Safety Mike Adams got $4 million over two years from the Broncos, with $2 million guaranteed.  And the Colts gave safety Tom Zbikowski $5.5 million over three years, with a $1 million signing bonus, for a $1.83 million average.  Safety Haruki Nakumara will get $4.8 million over three years from the Panthers, and $1 million guaranteed ($1.6 million average).

Given the lack of significant long-term money at the position, guys like Brodney Pool (Cowboys, one year, $1.1 million) and LaRon Landry (Jets, one year, $4 million) opted for a short-term deal and another shot at the market in 2013.

So, like the running back position, a couple of truly elite safeties (Ed Reed, Troy Polamalu) will be paid very well.  For the rest, it would have been better to play cornerback.

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8 Responses to “Four years, $18 million for Reggie Nelson”
  1. smartanis says: Mar 21, 2012 9:26 AM

    $1.1 million per year more than Dwight Lowery. So the Bengals paid more for an inferior safety who’s afraid to tackle. Five points to you, Mike Brown. Five points to you.

  2. bigvinnyinjax says: Mar 21, 2012 9:30 AM

    It’s a sick world we live in when a 1st round bust gets $18 million.

  3. rmiller517 says: Mar 21, 2012 9:36 AM

    only 18 million dollars? it must be hard to be a football player in this economy.

  4. duanethomas says: Mar 21, 2012 9:44 AM

    When free agency started in 1993 it was established what the skill positions truly were….OT, DE, CB, QB, PassRushing LB, WR. All others unless you are elite you will be paid for what you are….average.

  5. seanmmartin says: Mar 21, 2012 9:53 AM

    2.5M + 2.5M + 1.45M = 6.45M

    1M + 2.45M = 3.45M



    6.45M + 3.45M + 3.8M + 4.1M = 17.8M

    17.8M < 18M

  6. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Mar 21, 2012 11:50 AM

    No team has worse safeties than the Vikings, but they’re not even willing to pay bottom dollar for a new one.

  7. kazkal says: Mar 21, 2012 2:06 PM

    Thing is how many deserve elite money? Bengals fan and fan of Reggie and he got about what he deserved problem is avg players for other positions get over paid.

  8. drmichaelstevenlee says: Mar 21, 2012 3:37 PM

    IMO, Reggie was better than Palomalu last year and the biggest knock on Mike Brown is that he isn’t willing to pay his players to stay (ie Jon Joseph and Justin Smith) so I give both Kudos. However that being said, it is a lot for a player who has only proved it for one year .
    I think the number is so high because the Jets probably gave him a contract and the Bengals had to match it or give one of the better defensive AFc teams the last piece they need.

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