When the Saints signed safety Jairus Byrd to a six-year, $54 million deal, plenty of league insiders were stunned by the team’s ability to cram the contract into a cap crunch.
PFT has obtained the full details of the agreement, which shows how G.M. Mickey Loomis pulled it off.
The Saints combined an $11 million signing bonus with a fully-guaranteed (as of March 21, 2014) 2015 roster bonus of $6 million. Coupled with a fully-guaranteed base salary of $1.3 million for 2014, Byrd gets $18.3 million fully guaranteed at signing.
In 2015, Byrd will earn a base salary of $2 million. It’s guaranteed for injury only until March 2015, at which time it becomes fully guaranteed. Also, $6 million of his $7.4 million base salary for 2016 is guaranteed for injury only at signing; it becomes fully guaranteed in March 2016.
The base salaries for the final three years of the deal are $7.9 million in 2017, $8.4 million in 2018, and $8.6 million in 2019. He can earn $300,000 in each of those seasons via per-game roster bonuses.
If the salary cap grows as expected, the Saints should be able to retain Byrd for the full life of the contract, skills permitting. For now, it gives them the low cap number they desperately needed.