Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles was planning to hold out from training camp unless he wasn’t. In the end, it didn’t matter; Charles signed a new contract that will pay him, per a league source, $28 million over four years.
“Jamaal is an elite player in the National Football League,” Chiefs General Manager John Dorsey said in announcing the deal. “It was important for us to keep him here in Kansas City long-term.”
Multiple reports have characterized Charles as moving to No. 2 on the running back compensation list, behind only Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. The truth, according to one source, is that Charles has finagled the second highest new-money average, with the two extra years adding another $18.1 million to the existing two-year deal.
That’s a new-money average of $9.05 million.
That 0.05 become critical to the analysis and was hardly a coincidence, given that Eagles running back LeSean McCoy averages $9 million per year on a five-year, $45 million deal. Likewise, Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams received $27 million over three years under a five-year, $43 million contract he signed in 2011.
Without knowing the money fully guaranteed at signing — because it hasn’t been leaked yet it’s likely not near the top of any league-wide lists — it’s impossible to know how much Charles actually will get. His 2014 pay moves from $3.9 million to $8.3 million, a raise of $4.4 million. Instead of making $6 million in 2015, he’ll make $6.7 million.
That’s $15 million over two. Over three, it’s $21 million. Play all four and he gets $28 million.
The full structure of the deal will shed more light on how much more money Charles actually is getting, beyond his $4.4 million raise for 2014. But he’s not currently the second highest-paid running back in the NFL, not with an annual average on his full contract of $7 million.