Lost in the u-mad-bro back-and-forth between Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson and Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman regarding their one-up contracts is the fact that Browns cornerback Joe Haden got a pretty good deal, too.
All three deals were strong; whether one guy or another got the “best” deal resides in the eye of the beholder, as influenced by the specific factors considered.
Peterson got the most in “new money,” thanks to another $50,000 added to the final-year base salary that pushes the average from $14 million (which Sherman got) to $14.01 million. Haden’s deal averages $13.5 million in new money.
But Haden has the highest “true” guarantee at signing, with $22.678 million, more than $6 million more than Peterson’s $16.25 million. At signing, Sherman received $12.431 million fully guaranteed. Haden also pockets the most total cash in each year through 2018. Starting with $20.878 million in 2014.
Then again, Haden started with a higher base salary for 2014 than Peterson and Sherman. Haden, due to make $6.678 million, had the bulk of that money shifted to a signing bonus, dropping the base salary to the minimum. Which allowed Haden to craft a higher guarantee out of the gates.
When it comes to the conversion of injury-only guarantee to fully-guaranteed money through the February 2016 waiver period (which comes days after Super Bowl 50), Peterson leads the way with $42.6 million. Haden through the same point will have $41.078 million guaranteed. Sherman will see $40 million become fully guaranteed by then.
All three deals are very good. Peterson got his with two years left under contract, a point that shouldn’t be overlooked given the injury risk he managed to push to the team. With Sherman and Haden, even a Brewster’s Millions effort to spend every penny would make it hard for the trio to run out of cash in their lifetimes.