The Russell Okung deal details

AP

Russell Okung the agent did a great job of persuading reporters that he did a great deal for Russell Okung the client. Based on the true details, however, Russell Okung the client may at some point have a few pointed questions for Russell Okung the agent.

PFT has obtained the official details of the five-year-not-five-year, $53-million-not-$53-million contract Okung signed Thursday with the Broncos. As previously reported, it’s a one-year, $5 million deal with an option on the rest of the contract.

But it’s not even a $5 million deal for one year. He has a $1 million workout bonus, a $2 million base salary, and a $2 million roster bonus tied to being on the 53-man roster for any one game. So, basically, the Broncos are giving Okung $1 million to participate in the offseason program, with an option before Week One to pay him another $4 million to actually play for them in 2016.

Not a single penny of the deal is guaranteed at signing.

Per a source with further knowledge of the contract, Okung must participate in at least 90 percent of the offseason workouts and be on the roster when the offseason program ends to get the $1 million workout bonus.

The Broncos have until the first day of the 2017 league year to exercise the option for 2017. If they do, Okung gets a $1 million option bonus, an $8 million roster bonus, a $2 million guaranteed base salary, and up to $1.5 million in per-game roster bonuses for 2017. His base salary of $9.5 million for 2018 also would become fully guaranteed if the option is exercised, making it a $19.5 million decision for the Broncos after the 2016 season.

If Okung even makes it to the start of the 2016 season. If he does, he needs to perform well enough to persuade the Broncos to pay him $19.5 million guaranteed over two years.

The contract has $1.5 million in per-game roster bonuses from 2018 through 2020, and base salaries of $8.5 million in 2019 and $9 million in 2020.

Still, months before the Broncos have to make a $19.5 million decision on Okung, they have a $4 million decision to make — which could make him a free agent again in late August, with $1 million for his trouble.

There’s also a possibility that Okung could be traded, since the deal doesn’t have the same no-trade clause that the Broncos gave Peyton Manning a year ago.

To summarize, Okung has obtained the ability to earn $1 million to participate in the team’s offseason program, with no guarantee he’ll even be on the opening-day roster in 2016 — and no guarantee he’ll earn anything more than the $1 million bonus for participating in the team’s offseason program.

It’s unclear how Russell Okung the agent persuaded Russell Okung the client to accept these terms, but at least Russell Okung the agent earned his fee.

63 responses to “The Russell Okung deal details

  1. im getting a hint of bias

    but yea..if it is actually a bad deal, i hope this doesnt blow up in everyones face. Players arent averse to complaining about a contract they signed

  2. Weren’t people (idiots) on here yesterday talking about how dumb Elway was for this signing? Looks like a pretty dang team friendly deal to me.

  3. This could easily end up being a great deal for the Broncos. You can almost tie the draft pick they’ll get for Clady to this contract as well.

  4. Not a great deal but Florio has been ripping him for weeks. Maybe he has priorities beyond getting every last $ for his trouble. It’s just dumb to continually pass judgement on the man for decisions that appear to make him perfectly happy

  5. Elway strikes again.. What a great deal. Go Broncos!

    And here come the Broncos haters who swear Elway is cheating the cap… *yawns*

  6. 3% of $5,000,000 is only $150k. That would have been money well spent. At least to make the deal fully guaranteed.

    Living in Seattle during his entire tenure, him hurting himself between now and September would not surprise me.

  7. If you play well this year Russell, Elway is just going to ask you to renegotiate before next year. You aren’t going to see 95% of the deal that’s on paper. If Elway isn’t shy about asking Manning and Ware to take pay cuts, he certainly isn’t going to be shy about asking you to take one. Elway will offer you “incentives” though.

  8. I’d like to see the deal Detroit offered him, it has to be better than this. But as a Bronco and Lions fan, gotta give Elway and Joe Ellis credit for their negotiating skills.

  9. If guarantees are the only financial payments in an NFL contract that matters then this is one of the worse big contract for a premium position like left tackle I’ve ever seen.

    So essentially if he suffers a career ending injury during training camp he walks away with only $1 million. No big life changing signing bonus that will provide for you or your family.

    A player should never negotiate their own contract in the NFL. 1. These contracts are way more complicated than any other pro league with their guaranteesite that aren’t guarantee until this date, claw back clauses, etc. Even other agents have staffs or assistancesomething that review these contracts before signing.

    2. Most if not all NFL players can’t swim with NFL management/ownership sharks. It’s not only that they’re ruthless and are willing to cheat (like the NFLPA caught them doing not too long ago)….It’s that this is their environment. They negotiate deals with every player on their team…..they’very done it enough, seen enough different contract, have enough lawyers and staff to review and research obscure clauses to screw over a player without the player even realizing it in the moment.

    I bet Okung walked out that negotiation thinking he really did something.

  10. Face it people Elway can really sell players on playing in Denver.

    It’s a great city. It has big city life in Denver, but if you want to go do outdoor activities there is nowhere better.

    Combine that with the best football franchise in the NFL, a great stadium, fans, and workout facilities makes it a great spot to play.

  11. Elway strikes again.. What a great deal. Go Broncos!

    And here come the Broncos haters who swear Elway is cheating the cap… *yawns*

    Well, they did cheat the cap and their first two SB’s have an asterisk, so…..

  12. So basically if he gets hurt anytime between now and about a week into training camp he can be cut and he wont get a penny.. You would think there are minimum language requirements in all NFL contracts that give some degree of injury protection. Okung crossed out a few of those lines before he signed. Idiot.

  13. Elway strikes again.. What a great deal. Go Broncos!

    And here come the Broncos haters who swear Elway is cheating the cap… *yawns*

    ———

    Well, they did cheat the cap and their first two SB’s have an asterisk, so…..

    ———

    They cheated the cap, yes, but the money went towards financing the new stadium, not towards any player management. No competitive advantage occurred. Look it up.

  14. and some people think Elway’s not a shrewd GM…can’t you see it? He’s working an angle here – Mark Sanchez & Russell Okung are going to be used in a trade for a starting caliber QB – he’s set on defence, retained a good RB & the OL ain’t too bad…he’s just missing that one piece behind center!

  15. mediasloppy says:
    Mar 18, 2016 3:20 PM
    I don’t get it. Looks to me like he’ll be a very rich man if he fulfills the contract he signed.
    —–
    Then you haven’t been paying attention to how the NFL does business. I remember years ago when Thomas Jones came off a big rushing year for the Jets…best of his career….and the team tried to get him to take a paycut because they thought he was too old. When he refused they cut him. NFL teams force players to take pay cuts for all types of reasons. They cut players for all types of reasons. A lot of them beyond the player’s control. I’ve seen teams either force a pay cut or cut a player because the market changed and the contract for the player no longer reflects the market, I’ve seen a player cut because another player who the team believes to be better hit the free agent market. The big signing bonus is the only protection against this. Not only does the player walk away with a nice chunk if cut it prevents teams from doing so for the most part because while signing bonuses are paid up front to the player their cap value is usually spread over the life of the contract which discourages the type of cuts I described earlier. As an NFL player the most important thing that matters in a contract are the guarantees. Other wise why even sign a long term deal? Okung would have been better off playing on a 1 year deal.

  16. He should of paid the 3 percent. That’s a horrible deal.

    If he gets injured, he’s gone.

    Assuming he makes it through the season, if the Broncos need space next year for whatever, the choice will be… do we want Okung or this other guy.

    Great flexibility for the Broncos. But Okung just put himself in the crosshairs with this deal.

    Elway fleeced him. I wouldn’t call him shrewd, he just took advantage of a guy who didn’t have an agent. (But Okung wanted it that way)

  17. Hello Mark, I hope you didn’t buy a house in Denver already…uh because I just traded you and Okung to Cleveland for a bunch of 2016 draft picks and a sandwich….John Elway

  18. i find it ironic that russ went from seatle to denver, two citys where marijauna is legal. couldi t be that hes running a drug empire and opening a new distrbution center in denver? probably not but it doesnt hurt to ask these questions.

  19. Terrible Deal! The Broncos will cut him after 1 year, no matter what.
    This won’t only cost Russell Okung probably $4 million dollars, but it’s going to make John Elway look like a bastard by screwing his own players.

  20. I’m guessing Russell fired his agent because he told him “Hey bud you have a long history of injury and your play when healthy wasn’t all that great. You should take what the Hawks offer (probably $4 million on a guaranteed deal) for this year, play well and hit the market in better shape” He figured he was worth double or triple that and fired his agent and then after lingering on the market for far too long negotiated this farce of a contract with the Broncos to save face and say it “averaged over $10 million per year.” This is why agents are needed.

  21. PETA will be coming after Florio soon if he keeps beating this dead horse. No agent player signs similar contract to other injured players with agents but only Okung gets relentless bashing?

  22. Huh. Usually people pay to work out at the gym, not the other way around. So in *that* sense he did okay. As a football contract, though, not so much.

  23. I seem to remember a guy who was traded to Tampa and his AGENTS got him a shiny 6/96M contract with ZERO guarantees. He made 16M the first year, was waived, signed with the Pats, got himself 12M for the first year and his second year option forced them to cut him also. Now he’s back with his original team and got himself 48M guaranteed in the first 3 years. Different strokes for different folks. Revis bet on himself coming of an acl tear. Okung is probably doing the same and it’s his life and his decision that HE has to live with. Keep judging people, it shows your true colors.

  24. If Okung had recent shoulder surgery did he pass a “physical” before he went into talks with teams? hope he stays healthy and works out for the Broncos I’m glad Seahawks & steelers passed on him though

  25. nunezmc says:
    Mar 18, 2016 3:48 PM
    Elway strikes again.. What a great deal. Go Broncos!

    And here come the Broncos haters who swear Elway is cheating the cap… *yawns*

    ———

    Well, they did cheat the cap and their first two SB’s have an asterisk, so…..

    ———

    They cheated the cap, yes, but the money went towards financing the new stadium, not towards any player management. No competitive advantage occurred. Look it up.
    ————————————————–
    EXACTLY! But most of these haters don’t know how to ” LOOK IT UP “, let alone READ!!

    Elway making all these haters look like fools!

    IN ELWAY I DEFINITELY TRUST!

    GO BRONCOS!

  26. National Fanatic says:
    Mar 18, 2016 5:22 PM
    Terrible Deal! The Broncos will cut him after 1 year, no matter what.
    This won’t only cost Russell Okung probably $4 million dollars, but it’s going to make John Elway look like a bastard by screwing his own players.
    —————————————————-
    All other players have an AGENT! Okung doesn’t! What part of the article did you not read? I’m guessing ALL OF IT!

  27. There seems to be a lot of Broncos fans defending this deal. Let’s be clear — this is a bad deal for the player — PERIOD. You can try to say he’s happy with it and that makes it totally fair but it’s not. So you better hope he doesn’t wake up on the wrong side of the bed with the realization that he made a mistake here because THAT could have an adverse effect upon your team.

  28. Maybe he just wanted to play on a team with another chance to make it to a SB as opposed to a team who has already peaked and is on the decline

  29. Thought it was a good deal for DEN yesterday.

    Today it is a great deal.

    For his talent level this deal makes zero sense. I understand the injuries drive the price down … but by this much???

  30. Elway isn’t a genius. He and his staff took advantage of someone who, more likely than not, did not understand the ‘finer’ contract details that experienced agents know about.

    Elway just instructed his staff to make the contract look better than it actually is knowing that they probably won’t have Okung around for the life of the contract.

    Additionally, Colorado has a state income tax. Washington doesn’t. So Okung didn’t really save too much, if at all.

    It’s okay though. Everyone is free to choose their own path. Okung is happy, so there should be no problems, except for some ex lawyer running this site.

  31. WOW! I would sure like to know what the other offers were like. I can’t believe Seattle’s was this bad.

  32. Seattle is far better off that he’s gone. Russell isn’t a quality lineman, as his play and effort did not merit that term in Seattle. Overpaid at $1M. Dream come true he’s no longer with Seattle. Get ready for false starts Denver fans.

  33. Russell’s ego got the best of him. He didn’t want to take a $3 million dollar pay cut from the Seahawks so he took a much worse offer from the Broncos. Last year he made $8 million and the Seahawks were willing to bring him back for $5 million with half of it guaranteed. But he couldn’t go back in the locker room and deal with the razzing from teammates for taking less.

  34. People just ca’n stand it! Broncos are killing it since Elway took over. Everyone said he would stink at this, it’s over with for Denver and now look at you.

    Bow down to your new masters!

  35. This isn’t terrible for Okung. It boils down to a 1 year prove it deal for 5 million. If he plays well, he either gets paid in Denver or hits the market with a year’s performance under his belt and a higher league cap number. He is betting on himself. There is a risk, but it isn’t a reckless gamble. Denver did well also. Okung is as good as Clady, they get him for 4 or 5 million less than Clady, and they may be able to trade Clady for something.

  36. jetfan74 says:
    Mar 18, 2016 6:50 PM
    I seem to remember a guy who was traded to Tampa and his AGENTS got him a shiny 6/96M contract with ZERO guarantees. He made 16M the first year, was waived, signed with the Pats, got himself 12M for the first year and his second year option forced them to cut him also. Now he’s back with his original team and got himself 48M guaranteed in the first 3 years. Different strokes for different folks. Revis bet on himself coming of an acl tear. Okung is probably doing the same and it’s his life and his decision that HE has to live with. Keep judging people, it shows your true colors.
    _______
    Another false comparison. The reason Revis signed a contract like that is due to Tampa bay giving him essentially QB money his first year. That deal made Revis the highest paid CB his first year by about $4 million. As a trade off he passed on big guarantees. Not only that but the rest of his contract forced the Bucs to guarantee his $16 million yearly base during the off season as opposed to Okung’s contract which gives the Bronco’s right up to the start of the regular season to cut him….this is huge because all teams would have spent their free agent money well before then.

    Revis was able to get that contract from the Patriots precisely because his prior contract forced Tampa to cut him before free agency or guarantee his salary during the off season. If it was like Okung’s contract Tampa could have held off until teams had spent most of their big free agent money and tried to squeeze him into taking a cut right up to the start of the regular season.

    Okung’s contract is horrible and there’s really no disputing that. It gives the team way too much control with little up front guarantees.

  37. nhpats says:
    Mar 18, 2016 7:58 PM

    Maybe he just wanted to play on a team with another chance to make it to a SB as opposed to a team who has already peaked and is on the decline
    ====

    That and pending Shady suspension explains why he didn’t visit Pats.

  38. so a 28 year old with zero business experience fired a highly experienced professional businessman and got taken for everything by other highly experienced professional businessmen?

    LOL

  39. Earlier there was an article berating him for not taking a 1 year prove it deal so he can cash in with a big deal elsewhere next year. Now there’s an article berating him for taking what equates to a 1 year prove it deal with a pre-negotiated big deal next year to stay with the current Super Bowl champion. Make up your mind on what you don’t like about this.

  40. mikebel11,

    There is a big difference in taking a one year “prove it” deal with 2.5 million guaranteed and incentives and options for beyond that year or taking a $1 million dollar “prove it” deal with not even that one million dollars guaranteed and the sorts of ‘options’ that guarantee only that he will be cut before next season.

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