The fact that the initial reports of receiver Eric Decker’s deal with the Titans included no financial details created the distinct impression that it wasn’t a very good deal. Judged against those reduced expectations, it’s really not a horrible contract.
Via Tom Pelissero of USA Today, Decker received a signing bonus of $2.5 million and a base salary of $1.35 million. That’s a base deal of $3.85 million. Decker also can earn up to $1.5 million in incentives.
The structure makes the base value deal essentially guaranteed. With $2.5 million already paid to Decker, the Titans will be more likely to keep him for the full year at $1.35 million. (Without the signing bonus, the Titans could have decided at the end of the preseason to save the $3.85 million and to give the roster spot to someone else.)
The triggers for the incentives haven’t been disclosed, making it impossible to know how easy or hard it will be for Decker to get all or some of the extra money. It’s also not known whether and to what extent other teams offered Decker a contract.
Beyond the $1.5 million in incentives, Decker has clear motivation to have a big year and hit the market in March, when the available money is always better than it is in June.