The upper reaches of the 2009 draft have produced more than a few disappointing performers. And several of them have now taken less money in recognition of that fact.
On Saturday, reports emerged that Rams tackle Jason Smith, the second overall pick in 2009, has taken a $5.5 million pay cut in 2012. That deal was done, per a league source, on Tuesday.
Five days earlier, the third pick in 2009 agreed to a similar restructuring.
PFT has confirmed that Chiefs defensive lineman Tyson Jackson on April 12 reduced his 2012 base salary from $8.005 million to $4.25 million. The restructured deal was first reported by Brian McIntyre.
The good news for Tyson is that $4 million is now fully guaranteed; previously, only $2.505 million of Jackson’s base salary for 2012 was fully guaranteed.
In return, the 2014 season officially has been wiped off the books, resulting in the shifting of a $2.5 million option bonus proration into 2012. (The sixth year already was going to go away, since it was voidable and Jackson had reached the trigger.) Jackson’s cap number for the current year consequently has dropped only by $1.225 million, from $10.755 million to $9.5 million.
Unlike Smith’s deal, which shifted most of his salary to a roster bonus, Jackson continues to have a mammoth base salary due in 2013, giving the Chiefs extra time to decide whether to keep him. The terms for 2013 are unchanged, with a base salary of $14.72 million, $3.22 million of which is guaranteed for injury and salary cap, but not for skill.
Come 2013, the Chiefs surely will be interested in reducing Jackson’s cap number of $17.47 million. They can do it with an extension — or by cutting Jackson for skill reasons and clearing the full $14.72 million off the books.
And so, in exchange for giving up $3.755 million in base salary this year, Jackson picked up another $1.495 million in guaranteed pay.
Three of the top four players from the 2009 draft have now taken reduced pay under their rookie deals. Last year, former Seahawks linebacker Aaron Curry, the fourth pick in 2009, agreed to a reduced contract.
In April 2011, Chiefs G.M. Scott Pioli said he’d once again take Jackson with the third pick in 2009. He responded by appearing in 16 games with 14 starts in 2011.