As it turns out, underpaid Patriots receiver Julian Edelman isn’t quite as underpaid as previously believed.
Mike Reiss of ESPN.com has the full details, which reveal that Edelman can earn “up to” $19 million over the next three years. To get to $19 million, Edelman will have to trigger $4.5 million in incentives — with no information provided on what Edelman needs to do to earn the extra money.
Via Reiss, Edelman will be paid $5 million to sign. Edelman’s $2 million base salary in 2018 is also fully-guaranteed, which means that the practical guarantee for Edelman is $10 million, given that his $3 million non-guaranteed base salary for 2017 necessarily will be earned.
Other payments include a $250,000 workout bonus in 2017 (which he’d already earned), per-game roster bonuses of $46,875 in 2017, incentives of $500,00 in 2017, workout bonuses of $500,000 in 2018 and 2019, roster bonuses of $500,000 in 2018 and 2019, and incentives of $500,000 and $3.5 million in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Edelman also has a $2 million base salary in 2019, guaranteed for injury only.
Despite the various reasons supporting Edelman’s decision to take the deal (Reiss identifies some and Tom Curran of CSN New England identified others on Friday’s PFT Live), he hasn’t earned as much as he deserves. Curran pointed out that, to a certain extent, Edelman has been the victim of bad timing. But Edelman also is a victim of his own desire to remain in New England. Teams tend to squeeze players who want to stick around, an odd dynamic that instead of rewarding the player for loyalty takes advantage of it.