Packers receiver Jordy Nelson, after signing a team-friendly deal in 2011, wanted to make $10 million per year on his extension. Here’s every dollar he’ll potentially make through 2018, per a source with knowledge of the terms.
Nelson’s $11.5 million signing bonus is the only guaranteed money, but it’s the best kind of guaranteed money. It’s cash up front. No other portion of the deal is guaranteed, fully or partially. With a cap charge of $2.3 million spread over each of the five years Nelson is under contract, the potential acceleration probably gives him at least two years of security.
There’s no security in annual roster bonuses of $31,250 per game. It ties $500,000 per year — $2.5 million in all — to Nelson’s ability to play, week-in and week-out. If, for example, he misses four games like he did in 2012, $125,000 disappears.
The contract also carries healthy workout bonuses of $500,000 per year from 2015 through 2018. It’s easy money, as long as he shows up for enough sessions of the offseason program.
The base salaries are $2 million, $1.3 million, $5.5 million, $8.25 million, and $9.25 million from 2014 through 2018. The cap numbers in those years are $5.925 million, $4.6 million, $8.8 million, $11.55 million, and $12.55 million.
Very affordable for the first two years, Nelson will move toward a higher cap ground in 2016. Come 2017, when only $4.6 million in unallocated bonus dollars will remain and the cap number goes past $10 million, Nelson could be looking at a potential pay cut or a cap-reducing extension, based on his performance level at the time.
So it’s almost definitely a two-year commitment from the team. Probably at least three. After 2016, it all depends on whether his anticipated value in 2017 and 2018 justifies the larger salaries and cap numbers.