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Bradford’s structure, guarantee on signing will give better picture of real value

Sam Bradford AP

On the surface, Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford’s new contract suggests that he’ll be in Philly for two more seasons at $18 million per year, especially since $26 million of it is “guaranteed.”

But like so many of the deals that will be done over the next two weeks, only the official details will tell the full story of what a deal is worth and, more importantly, how many years of it definitely will be honored by the team.

If, for example, Bradford is due to make $13 million in 2016 (with the payment fully guaranteed) and $23 million in 2017 (with $13 million of it guaranteed for injury only at signing), it’s a one-year, $13 million deal with a team option for the second year.

That’s just an example, not an attempt to characterize the actual deal. Still, it’s impossible to know how good (or bad) of a deal it is without knowing how much of the deal is fully guaranteed at signing, and how much will be paid in 2016 and in 2017.

Reporting general “guarantees” is meaningless, since the only true guarantee is money that’s fully guaranteed. (Actually, with the ability of teams to void guarantees in the event of on- or off-field misconduct, the only really true guarantee is a signing bonus.) Still, folks will continue to report true and not-true guarantees as “guarantees” generally, without an explanation or disclaimer that “guaranteed” money isn’t actually guaranteed.

Eventually, the real numbers will become available, for Bradford’s deal and all others. But by the time the real numbers are available, with the real guarantees and the real structure, the dust will have settled and the impression will have been created that the deal is better than perhaps it really is.

For Bradford, even with only a two-year deal, it’s impossible to know whether it’s a true $18 million per year deal or whether the second year is fluff without looking at the real terms.

Whatever the specific structure and true guarantees, it’s safe to assume Bradford didn’t sign the contract without knowing his market. And he knew his market because his agent was able to find out from other teams at the Scouting Combine what the market was.

The real numbers will give a very real picture on how real the market was for the last No. 1 overall pick who got a real payday after being drafted, six years ago.

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20 Responses to “Bradford’s structure, guarantee on signing will give better picture of real value”
  1. key2heat says: Mar 1, 2016 5:43 PM

    Has Bradford ever had a winning season? serious question.

  2. jrclark1978 says: Mar 1, 2016 5:47 PM

    Dude looks completely nuts in that picture. Signing with a terrible franchise will do that to anyone, one would imagine.

  3. Johnny says: Mar 1, 2016 5:49 PM

    And he gets traded to 49ers . Since Chip will only last 2 years there its a perfect reunion.

  4. Philly Eagles In 20xx? says: Mar 1, 2016 5:54 PM

    Not worried . . Howie knows the cap-game.

  5. bobbyinlondon says: Mar 1, 2016 5:54 PM

    Well let’s look at what is out there and what is going to be out there–

    RG3 as soon as he gets cut. Has he been the same since he got injured? No. He can’t read defenses.

    Kirk Cousins’ FLOOR starts at almost $20M since now the Skins franchise tagged him–for ONE GOOD HALF SEASON OUT OF FOUR FULL SEASONS that he’s been in the league.

    Brock Osweiler of the Broncos who played decently but who only started a handful of games.

    Chase Daniel, who has only started 2 games in the league and is almost 30.

    So they went with a guy who himself had a good half season as soon as he had confidence in his knees again.

  6. spiffybiff says: Mar 1, 2016 6:00 PM

    I don’t know anyone outside of a heir or heiress who has found money so easily as Bradford. Has he ever made less than 10 mil a season? Once this deal is complete he will be close to at least 80 plus million in earnings for hardly an average career

  7. shaggytoodle says: Mar 1, 2016 6:01 PM

    I understand that being the Number one Overall pick comes with a lot pressure and expectation. He has not been able to live up to that, part of it is with his bad luck and injuries. The other thing is, he has been on some just REALLY bad teams.

  8. leroyquimby says: Mar 1, 2016 6:04 PM

    Something tells me Andy is really running the team out of KC

  9. unknownsniper says: Mar 1, 2016 6:04 PM

    Tebow 2 years at 600K per year non-guaranteed would seem like a steal, with a possible playoffs

  10. gojags says: Mar 1, 2016 6:06 PM

    At this rate Bradford would end up making more money than Manning & Brady without playing a single playoff game when it would be all set and done.

    This guy has full of luck, last draft class that does not have the rookie wage scale and on top of that managed to sign a highway robbery contract in St. Louis, Now he is signing a mega contract as well. All he has in his resume is that he has a high ceiling.

  11. tccoats says: Mar 1, 2016 6:08 PM

    He’s 25-37-1 as a starting QB, his best one season record is last yr at 7-7…yep he missed 2 games because of injury…he’s only started all 16 games once. He’s already made $78M and potentially can make another $36M in the next 2 yrs….Bradford is winning the “Business” of football….

  12. gromit45 says: Mar 1, 2016 6:15 PM

    The simpler story is: Resigning Bradford is a bad deal at any dollar value.

  13. purpleguy says: Mar 1, 2016 6:18 PM

    I seriously wonder if any other NFL player who’s been in the game more than 4 years has made more money for doing less than Bradford has.

  14. bassplucker says: Mar 1, 2016 7:17 PM

    I seriously wonder if any other NFL player who’s been in the game more than 4 years has made more money for doing less than Bradford has.
    ———————-
    Matt Flynn has possibly come out better if you go strictly on a dollars-per-down basis… but in terms of sheer, raw, jaw dropping total dollars there’s Bradford and then there’s everyone else.

  15. amaf21 says: Mar 1, 2016 7:44 PM

    Dude stole 60 mil from the Rams. Seems like anything on top of that is just gravy.

  16. whiteybulgersson says: Mar 1, 2016 7:45 PM

    A terrible smile from a terrible quarterback.

    Thank god I’m a Patriots fan.

    Not only do we have the ring count, we play with integrity and within the rules.

    The deflategate revenge tour continues next year.

  17. birdgang says: Mar 1, 2016 8:36 PM

    whiteybulgersson
    Mar 1, 2016, 7:45 PM EST
    A terrible smile from a terrible quarterback.

    Thank god I’m a Patriots fan.

    Not only do we have the ring count, we play with integrity and within the rules.

    The deflategate revenge tour continues next year.

    ——————————————————————-

    Talking about integrity with a username like that? Let’s name ourself after a man who robbed, killed & ruined many people and things in & around Boston. Stay classy.

  18. greg3117 says: Mar 2, 2016 3:27 AM

    The Giants, Cowboys and the Redskins thank Howie and the Eagles for that fine move!

  19. intrafinesse says: Mar 2, 2016 8:54 AM

    Good contract for the Eagles.
    Try before buying.

  20. sofakingcool1 says: Mar 2, 2016 12:49 PM

    I seriously wonder if any other NFL player who’s been in the game more than 4 years has made more money for doing less than Bradford has.

    Albert Haynesworth?

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