The initial reports of the value of a long-term, big-money contract rarely if ever tell the whole story. So the smart move, before judging whether or not a deal is a good one, is to wait for the whole story.
As to the contract given by the Falcons to cornerback Desmond Trufant, here’s the whole story. And given his circumstances (both health and the fact that he wasn’t on the open market) it’s a pretty good deal.
Per a source with knowledge of the contract, Trufant gets a $15 million signing bonus, along with a fully-guaranteed $1.526 million base salary in 2017.
The deal includes an option bonus, guaranteed for injury, of $7.5 million. It’s due on the third day of the 2018 league year.
The 2018 salary of $8.5 million includes $4.25 that is fully guaranteed at signing plus another $4.25 million that is guaranteed for injury at signing. The amount becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2018 league year.
In 2019, Trufant’s base salary will be $9.5 million. It’s guaranteed for injury at signing; it becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2019 league year.
The final three years of the contract feature non-guaranteed base salaries of $10.75 million, $11.75 million, and $12.75 million, respectively.
The five-year, $68.75 million extension pays out more than $32 million by March, averages $14.75 million over the first three years and $13.75 million in new money over the life of the deal.
Trufant suffered a season-ending pectoral injury in early November, and he was under contract through 2017. The contract nevertheless compares favorably to the top-of-the-market deals signed in free agency by Stephon Gilmore ($13.5 million per year) and A.J. Bouye ($13 million per year).