As we break down more deals that were advertised to be something more than they really are, more and more league insiders are pointing out other deals that have had puffed values.
The most common deal mentioned is the contract signed by Packers defensive lineman Julius Peppers. But there really wasn’t any puffing by Peppers’ agent, Carl Carey.
Carey accurately described the contract as having a mere $7.5 million in guaranteed money and being worth up to $30 million over three years. However, many have glossed over the “up to,” assuming it’s a straight $10 million per year contract.
Here are the actual numbers. As Carey initially said, there’s only $7.5 million in guaranteed money, and all of it was earned on the sixth day of the 2014 league year — two days after the contract was signed. Another $1 million (which isn’t actually guaranteed but as a practical matter is) will be paid in 2014 base salary.
If the Packers decide to keep Peppers for 2015, he’ll earn a base salary of $8.5 million, a workout bonus of $500,000, and per-game roster bonuses that max out at $500,000, if he suits up for every game.
For 2016, the base salary is $7 million with another $500,000 workout bonus and another set of per-game roster bonuses maxing out at $500,000.
That’s a three-year haul of $25 million with another $1 million based on how many games he plays in 2015 and 2016. Escalators can push another $2 million into 2015 and into 2016.
In an era where fewer and fewer multi-year deals are honored by the teams that sign them, Peppers’ deal really could be only a one-year arrangement, worth $8.5 million. Whether Peppers is a Packer in 2015 will depend largely on how he plays in 2014.