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Breaking down the Brandon Marshall deal


It took more than a week, but the new deal signed on The View by Bears receiver Brandon Marshall finally is available to be fully scrutinized.  And, as usual, the numbers are originally reported were a little better than the reality.

Per a source with knowledge of the contract, Marshall gets $14.8 million fully guaranteed at signing, via a $7.5 million signing bonus and a fully-guaranteed $7.3 million base salary for 2014.  His $7.5 million base salary for 2015 is guaranteed for injury only until the third day of the 2015 league year, at which time it becomes fully guaranteed.Initial reports of the value had pegged the guarantee at $22.3 million, glossing over (as initial reports usually do) the distinction between guaranteed and fully-guaranteed money.

In 2016, Marshall has a non-guaranteed base salary of $7.9 million.  In 2017, the final year of the contract, the base salary moves to $8.3 million.

He also has workout bonuses of $200,000 each year, and a $700,000 escalator tied to winning the Super Bowl.  The escalator pushes the four-year deal from a base value of $39.3 million to a maximum package of $40 million.

The cap numbers are $9.375 million in 2014, $9.575 million in 2015, $9.975 million in 2016, and $10.375 million in 2017.  If, for whatever reason, the Bears decide to dump Marshall before the final $7.5 million in guaranteed money becomes fully guaranteed, he will have received $15 million for one season.

They can also move on after the 2015 or 2016 season, with a relatively small cap consequence.

So despite the four-year, $40 million figure trumpeted by Marshall, it’s a year-to-year arrangement for Marshall and the Bears.  For most teams and players, that’s how the NFL currently works.

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15 Responses to “Breaking down the Brandon Marshall deal”
  1. joeflaccoallday says: May 29, 2014 1:00 AM

    Just make all deals fully guaranteed. NFL so cheap

  2. drohanimal says: May 29, 2014 1:43 AM

    Great player. Glad things are going well for him now. Top 3 at his position.

  3. vusnu says: May 29, 2014 1:45 AM

    Better than my initial reaction to the deal. Although I still think the Bears made a mistake throwing all that money at Cutler.

  4. bearshaterseverywhere says: May 29, 2014 1:57 AM

    Best wide receiver in the NFL.

  5. rationalitybias says: May 29, 2014 3:48 AM

    Very cheap deal for the Bears, just like Cutler’s isn’t really a 100+ mil. Alshon is very quiet, but he knows he is due. Would have been cool seeing Brandon protest if he didn’t get his deal.

  6. footballtalk1 says: May 29, 2014 4:56 AM

    Wonder what Dez will get in Dallas. 5 years younger and much more talented with nowhere to go but up. Brandon is on the wrong side of 30

  7. ravenswhat says: May 29, 2014 6:56 AM

    Yep. The owners took these players for a ride.

  8. Indybear says: May 29, 2014 7:30 AM

    Regardless, it’s money well spent. Bear Down Chicago Bears!

  9. crazycane says: May 29, 2014 8:00 AM

    That’s a great deal in the Bears favor. By the time he’s about ready to hang up the cleats, Bears will need to reup Wilson who will be a stud in this league.


  10. bassplucker says: May 29, 2014 9:36 AM

    Worth every penny. Cliff Stein is a machine who keeps cranking out club-friendly deals that are still sweet enough for their stars to sign off on. Some top-notch work being done in that front office the past couple years–which as a long time Bears fan I never thought I would live to see.

  11. harveyredman says: May 29, 2014 11:10 AM

    Why is the NFL is the only Major sports league that does not guarantee contracts?

    Maybe if they did, they could actually pay what the player is worth, instead of a huge multi-year contract that only QB’s are ever going to have a chance realize until the last year. Make the contracts for 3 years and pay the men.

    Maybe if they did, players wouldn’t hold out as much and there would be a bit more loyalty to teams instead of players getting cut so darn quickly by the team.

    My take is, if a team only has to pay the signing bonus and back-loads the contract so they can “restructure” or outright cut a player at anytime if they feel like they aren’t performing, then the player should be able to hold-out if they are out-performing their contract. Capitalism has to work both ways!

  12. larryboodry says: May 29, 2014 12:42 PM

    Both sides win.

  13. bearshaterseverywhere says: May 29, 2014 2:06 PM

    Dez is NOT more talented and is on the Cowboys.

    He is also a cry baby.

    Top 5 current NFL WR’s:

    1.Calvin Johnson
    2.Brandon Marshall
    3.Alshon Jeffery
    4.A.J. Green
    5.Julio Jones

  14. ghostof34 says: May 29, 2014 3:12 PM

    In the last three years alone, Marshall has more catches per season, and more yards per season. Actual stats show Marshall is a better WR than Dez Bryant…consistently. 7 consecutive 1000+ seasons to Bryant’s 2. If Dez ever stops crying he could possibly go on to have a better career, as of right now he’s not better than Marshall. Plenty of talented guys have been in the NFL and flame out because of their antics…he’s got talent, but Marshall’s talent allows him to produce at a higher level than Bryant–it’s what you do with it…thus Marshall’s more talented.

    Marshall 5th in receptions, 11th in yards
    Bryant 8th in receptions, 13th in yards
    Marshall 2nd in receptions, 3rd in yards
    Bryant 10th in receptions, 6th in yards
    Marshall 10th in receptions, 10th in yards
    Bryan 38th in receptions, 29th in yards

  15. gordocb says: May 30, 2014 2:29 AM


    There are no guaranteed contracts in the NFL because of the amount of player games missed to injury, that is also why these teams work out injury settlements when a player does get hurt. The New York Giants alone lost 91 games of starters to injury last year, the number compared to any other sport is about 80% higher in the NFL. You can look up the numbers of players lost to injury in the NFL compared to other Pro Athletes, its pretty amazing.

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