As usual, the true value of Bears receiver Brandon Marshall’s new contract won’t be known until the official details can be scrutinized. The four-year, $40 million deal reportedly has $23 million guaranteed; without knowing how much is guaranteed at signing, there’s no way of knowing what kind of actual financial security Marshall received.
Among the most interested in knowing the true value of the deal will be Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery. The 24-year-old exploded in his second NFL season for 1,421 receiving yards on 89 catches. Marshall had more catches (100 total) but fewer yards (1,295 in all), but some think Jeffery soon will be the better player, if he isn’t already.
So if Marshall is worth $10 million per year, what will Jeffery get? He’s eligible for a new contract after the 2014 regular season, and he’ll be a free agent after 2015. The Bears will need to pay Jeffery as much or more than Marshall, sooner rather than later.
And if they decide that they can’t afford both, the actual guarantee in Marshall’s deal becomes even more relevant, because that will help the Bears figure out when they could move on from Marshall.