But the extent to which he’s betting on himself is even more glaring when you see the details of the deal.
According to Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com, Melton can make as little as $2.25 million this season, but up to $29 million over the next four years.
Melton will make a $1.25 million base salary this year, along with a $1 million signing bonus.
Instead of a bigger bonus, they gave him a $78,125 roster bonus for each week he’s on the active 46-man roster. That could earn him another $1.25 million, assuming he’s fully recovered from last year’s torn ACL and able to stay healthy enough to play all 16 games. There are also $1.5 million worth of incentives for playing time and sacks.
Next year, his base salary of $9 million is guaranteed if the Cowboys pick up his option on the first day of the new year, so it’s no certainty they will.
The per-game roster bonuses are becoming increasingly popular (for teams) in new contracts. Of course, that puts the financial burden of staying on the field on the player, at a time when the preaching about “player safety” is louder than ever.