Often, when only general details emerge regarding a big contract, the truth ends up undercutting the perception created by the deal.
So that’s why we were skeptical about the Mike Wallace contract, which was described only as being worth $60 million over five years, with $30 million guaranteed.
Here are the full details, per a source with knowledge of the contract.
1. $11 million signing bonus.
2. $1 million base salary in 2013, fully guaranteed.
3. $15 million base salary in 2014, fully guaranteed.
4. $9.85 million base salary in 2015, $3 million of which is guaranteed for injury at signing and fully guaranteed next March.
5. $11.45 million base salary in 2016.
6. $11.45 million base salary in 2017.
7. $50,000 workout bonus, each year.
The cap numbers are $3.25 million in 2013, $17.25 million in 2014, $12.1 million in 2015, $13.7 million in 2016, and $13.7 million in 2017.
It adds up to a whopping $27 million in fully guaranteed money. As a practical matter, it’s a three-year, $37 million deal, with a year-to-year option on the remainder.
By 2016, the question will become whether Wallace’s performance justifies an investment of $11.45 million in cash — especially since cutting him would cost only $4.4 million against the cap.
The low cap number in 2013 gives Miami plenty of additional room to maneuver as the team attempts to improve its performance and generate excitement in South Florida.