The details are in on the Robert Griffin III contract with the Browns. For a change, they mesh with the value that was originally reported: two years, $15 million. With a 10-percent caveat.
Of the $7.5 million base amount for each year, $750,000 is tied to Griffin’s ability to suit up every Sunday as part of the 46-man roster. For each game that he’s not on the active roster, $46,875 isn’t earned.
The $6.75 million in guaranteed money comes from a $3.5 million signing bonus and a fully-guaranteed base salary of $3.25 million in 2016.
In 2017, the Browns owe Griffin a $750,000 roster bonus on the third day of the league year, a trigger that forces the Browns to make an early decision on whether to keep him for the season at a base salary of $6 million, along with another $750,000 in per-game roster bonuses.
Another $3.5 million is available per year in incentives based on playing time, passing yards, and passer rating. The specific triggers aren’t yet known; that information will go a long way toward revealing whether Griffin can earn the money.
He can’t earn it if he’s not playing, and his contract doesn’t scream “starter.” Indeed, the value of the deal puts him in the upper reaches of the veteran backup market, with a contract relatively comparable to the one given by the Eagles to Chase Daniel.
Whether Griffin is the starter for all or most of the 2016 season will hinge on whether the team makes another move at quarterback. Specifically, whether the Browns use the second overall pick on someone like Jared Goff or Carson Wentz.