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More than six years later, Dallas Clark’s deal apparently gets topped

Dallas Clark AP

When a player signs a new contract, we often hear that he has become the highest-paid player in NFL history at his position.  And that’s actually the way it should go in a thriving sports league like the NFL.  Each next deal for the best player in the league at that position should be the best deal ever given to a player that plays that position.

And when a player becomes the highest paid player at a given position, we assume that the prior record didn’t stand for all that long.  When it comes to tight ends, Jimmy Graham’s new high-water mark comes more than six years after the last one was set.

Per a source with knowledge of the deal, former Colts tight end Dallas Clark signed in February 2008 a contract that paid out $27.555 million over three years.  No one has beaten that since then.  And it’s possible that Graham’s new deal won’t pay out that much over three years, based on the actual structure.

Clark’s deal also included $20 million guaranteed.  Of that amount, $11.5 million was fully guaranteed at signing.

Clark’s deal came at a time when he had been slapped with the franchise tag; it wasn’t an open market deal.  Graham could have pushed the bar a lot higher if he’d held firm for a shot at the open market.  With one or two more seasons, he would have gotten there — and the new high-water mark would have been a lot higher than the various others tight ends who have been paid in the past.

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20 Responses to “More than six years later, Dallas Clark’s deal apparently gets topped”
  1. daburgher says: Jul 15, 2014 10:35 AM

    Wow Clark hosed the colts on that one

  2. steelerben says: Jul 15, 2014 10:39 AM

    I’m not sure about anyone else, but I find it hard to think of Jimmy Graham being robbed by making “only” $9.5 or $10 million a year. Sure, he could have pushed it and taken the franchise tag two years in a row. And his foot issues could resurface and hurt his earning potential. Or he could have a career ending concussion and all that money that is guaranteed only for injury would pay out.

  3. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 15, 2014 10:42 AM

    Well plus to really compare contracts from different eras you have to consider adjustments for inflation and other variables, some of which are subjective and debatable from one accounting perspective to another, in order to convert two sets of numbers into an equalized comparison.

    So there’s a lot more math that needs to be done to match up these 2 particular history making contracts in order to determine which one tops the other.

  4. clipper522 says: Jul 15, 2014 10:48 AM

    If I’m Peyton Manning, i’m asking for my 10% cut for that deal.

  5. dapollock69 says: Jul 15, 2014 11:03 AM

    Too bad Clark can’t remember signing it.

  6. granadafan says: Jul 15, 2014 11:06 AM

    Peyton demanded that his favorite target be paid well. Clark should have given Peyton a bonus for that deal.

  7. killxswitch says: Jul 15, 2014 11:15 AM

    Bill Polian was such a sucker later in his career with the Colts.

  8. jvw1982 says: Jul 15, 2014 11:18 AM

    Huh? How is the Patriots Gronk not the highest paid TE in the game? Don’t tell me Belicheat is fleecing him too?

  9. Ed Bandell says: Jul 15, 2014 11:28 AM

    We often hear that the player is the highest paid player at his position?

    How many players we signed to contracts this year and out of those, how many of those were to pay those players the most at their position?

    The Ravens signed a whole bunch of players this off season and I don’t think a single one of them were the highest paid player at their position.

  10. sportsfan18 says: Jul 15, 2014 11:33 AM

    thestrategyexpert says:
    Jul 15, 2014 10:42 AM
    Well plus to really compare contracts from different eras you have to consider adjustments for inflation and other variables, some of which are subjective and debatable from one accounting perspective to another, in order to convert two sets of numbers into an equalized comparison.

    So there’s a lot more math that needs to be done to match up these 2 particular history making contracts in order to determine which one tops the other.

    2 8
    Report comment

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Spot on strategy…

    Inflation, percent of the teams salary cap…

    Also, the time value of money.

    We know lottery winners take the cash up front…
    Why? It’s better to get the cash now and have it begin working for you.

    Last season, Kobe got a balloon payment of over $24 million in November of the $30 million he was going to make last season.

    Now, I’d rather receive $24 of $30 million in Nov then have to “wait” throughout the course of the year to get it.

    Front loaded contracts are better than those that are spread evenly or backloaded for sure.

    CAN’T just look at yrs and total dollars to compare which contract is better than another.

  11. bythebay15 says: Jul 15, 2014 11:48 AM

    This is wrong. Check Kellen Winslow’s deal in 2009.

  12. nycoccet says: Jul 15, 2014 12:29 PM

    @ strategyexpert… Inflation and those factors your talking about is basically the whole point to this article…i took it as he saying for such a fast growing league it shouldn’t take 6 years for the record contract at any position…

  13. steelersfanjclii says: Jul 15, 2014 12:41 PM

    Simple research:

    “All-Pro Rob Gronkowski agreed to a six-year, $53 million extension with the New England Patriots, the richest contract for a tight end in NFL history.”

  14. chunkderrrty says: Jul 15, 2014 12:43 PM

    How much did Hernández get?

  15. vikes89allday says: Jul 15, 2014 1:32 PM

    Hernandez got 5 year 40 mill with 12.5 mill signing bonus which is like half a million less then gronkowski

  16. thebiblestudent says: Jul 15, 2014 1:55 PM

    steelersfanjclii says: Jul 15, 2014 12:41 PM

    Simple research:

    “All-Pro Rob Gronkowski agreed to a six-year, $53 million extension with the New England Patriots, the richest contract for a tight end in NFL history.”
    —————–
    Math:

    53M ÷ 6 = $8.83 Million per year (Gronk’s numbers)

    27.555M ÷ 3 = $9.185 Million per year (Dallas Clark’s numbers).

  17. scrummymustard says: Jul 15, 2014 2:11 PM

    Math and Reading comprehension:

    Florio said in the first 3 years payout, not over 6.

    Gronk only received $12.92 mil over the first 3 years.

    Clark: 27.555 mil

  18. crush22 says: Jul 15, 2014 3:27 PM

    thebiblestudent says:
    Jul 15, 2014 1:55 PM
    steelersfanjclii says: Jul 15, 2014 12:41 PM

    Simple research:

    “All-Pro Rob Gronkowski agreed to a six-year, $53 million extension with the New England Patriots, the richest contract for a tight end in NFL history.”
    —————–
    Math:

    53M ÷ 6 = $8.83 Million per year (Gronk’s numbers)

    27.555M ÷ 3 = $9.185 Million per year (Dallas Clark’s numbers).
    ________________________
    Nobody ever said Patsie fans were the brightest…

  19. gofor2with3pointlead says: Jul 15, 2014 5:20 PM

    I’ve noticed that too crush22. They all act like they went to Harvard or MIT when most of them couldn’t make it into Bunker Hill Community College when all that takes is a GED and the ability to fog a mirror.

  20. bornahawker says: Jul 15, 2014 9:48 PM

    Dallas Clark Is a Beast

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