Since NFL contracts aren’t fully guaranteed, the most important numbers for the contracts signed in free agency are the fully guaranteed amounts.
For new Colts defensive end Arthur Jones, signed Tuesday from the Ravens, the amount he’ll certainly earn at the time he applied pen to paper is $10 million.
Per a source with knowledge of the terms, that comes from a $5.5 million signing bonus and a fully-guaranteed 2014 base salary of $4.5 million.
Jones also has $6 million in 2015 base salary guaranteed for injury only. It becomes fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the 2015 league year. Which means that, if Jones doesn’t suffer an injury in 2014 so serious that it prevents him from playing in 2015, the Colts can cut him after one season.
The five-year deal has a full value of $33 million. For now, all he knows that he’s getting for certain is $10 million.