There have been plenty of $100 million deals in the NFL — including $100 million deals that aren’t really $100 million deals.
But even the actual $100 million deals never actually pay out $100 million. As Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com points out, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is about to become the closest to ever pull that off.
Later this year, Roethlisberger will have earned more than $70 million of his eight-year, $102 million contract. Through 2012, he pocketed $64.9 million.
After getting another $11.6 million in 2013, that could be all Roethlisberger sees on the current deal. A series of restructurings have pushed his cap number to roughly $18 million in 2014. With only two seasons remaining on the package, the only way to make a major dent in the cap number will be to extend the contract — and to push cap dollars into seasons beyond 2015.
At $69 million, Donovan McNabb has the highest amount earned on a $100 million deal. Drew Brees currently is second among the eight active nine-figure deals, with $40 million earned.