Brian Cushing could lose $2.6 million in future money

The total financial losses that Texans linebacker Brian Cushing will experience are coming into focus.

On the surface, he’ll lose four game checks.  Based on his base salary of $395,000, which is divided into 17 equal checks, Cushing will lose $92,941 in 2010 pay.

He’ll also be subject to a forfeiture of signing bonus money, in the amount of 4/17ths of his 2010 allocation.  (Our initial item on this matter was wr-wr-wr-factually incomplete, and we’ve since revised it, with an explanation that we were wr-wr-wr-misinformed as to the specific contents of the steroids policy with respect to bonus forfeitures.)  As the 15th overall pick in the 2009 draft, however, there’s a good chance that Cushing’s “guaranteed money” came via devices other than a signing bonus.  Due to the niceties of the rookie salary pool, teams use roster bonuses, option bonuses, and guaranteed base salaries in order to take full advantage of the rules that apply to the total payment to the franchise’s rookie class, and the restrictions on future growth.

And Gil Brandt of has outlined the potential future damage to Cushing’s overall earnings.  Per Brandt, Cushing could be out up to $2.6 million in salary escalators due to the suspension.  The potential increase to Cushing’s 2013 salary would arise if Cushing qualifies for the Pro Bowl and participates in 80 percent of the team’s plays on defense in three of his first four seasons.  In 2010, he’ll do neither.  Thus, he’ll be required to meet both thresholds in 2011 and 2012.

An injury that knocks him out for three or four games in either season could be enough to keep him from getting to 80 percent of snaps.  Also, the stigma from the positive test for hCG — and the shameful (in our view) P.R. campaign aimed at avoiding the stigma — could cause sufficient fans, players, and/or coaches not to cast a Pro Bowl vote for Cushing.

Meanwhile, Brandt reports that Cushing’s contract included a trigger based on winning the AP defensive rookie of the year award, resulting in a $2.219 million bonus.  But Cushing met other alternative triggers, which means that he’ll keep the money even if he doesn’t secure the honor based on do-over voting that closes at 12:00 p.m. E.T. on Wednesday.

16 responses to “Brian Cushing could lose $2.6 million in future money

  1. Looks like Team Cush should have stuck with Mcguire, not bob sugar

  2. He’s already playing in 75% of their games why couldnt he make 80% of the defensive snaps?

  3. GOOD – its a shame players view themselves as inferior and feel the need to take PED’s. I wonder how much is mental? The NFL is not for the WEAK MINDED.

  4. So… how much money would they have to pay you to juice till you shrank your nuts off?

  5. Six Cushing stories in 24 hrs.
    Seriously, do you think we care how much money this guaranteed multi-millionaire has the ‘potential’ to lose ?

  6. So what dooshio is saying…
    Per a bunch of other people cuz he personally doesn’t know what’s going on is…..
    If a bunch of planets allign and…a gopher predicts more winter and …south africa wins the world cup and…cushing gets hurt and…. people don’t vote for him 2 years from now…. he might possibly lose a variable amount of money?
    Great informative article!

  7. Funny but I’ll bet he’ll go into training camp noticeably thinner (with a smaller head) and his camp will spin it that he’s trying to get faster.
    Then within three years he’ll be trying to latch onto a team as a Strong Safety.
    Then in a few years he’ll be interviewed and will finally come clean. He’ll be asked if it was worth it and yeah – because he got drafted and some insignificant football fan like me knew who he was. It’ll keep happening until the penalties outweigh the benefit.

  8. who cares?
    he cheated, got caught, and got suspended.
    next news on this should be monday when he reports for ota’s and gets questioned by the media.

  9. Can we quit pretending steroids make or break a player at the professional level? A bad player doesn’t have a fantastic season b/c of steroids. They make good players even better….they make bad players average at best. Case in point, probably thousands of minor league baseball players juiced in the 90’s, how many became barry bonds? The idea that Cushing will be out of the leauge soon w/out the juice is kind of ridiculous. If you can win defensive rookie of the year with steroids, you will still be at least decent w/out them.
    And before somebody mentions tony mandarich, notice that he never had success in the NFL, his feet were terrible, and steroids weren’t going to help that. They made him a good college player, not a good NFL player. Big difference. At the professional level, steroids do not turn a bad player into a good one.

  10. Victor85 (is that your IQ?) – 100% of the Defensive snaps in 75% of the games = Ta Da … 75% of the Defensive snaps.
    SainstBucsPanthers… if you perpetuate the lie, it’s STILL a lie. Matthews has been tested the same amount of times that Cushing has, and he’s STILL clean. Why not say all USC guys are dirty and suspend them all? Just because Cushing is an idiot/cheater doesn’t mean all USC alumni are, i.e. Matthews, Leinart, Mays, Justice, Maualuga, Baker, Bush, Kalil, Polamalu, Tatupu, Rachal, Rivers, Sanchez, L. White, …

  11. Victor85 isn’t totally off base. You don’t have an equal number of snaps a game. Its not like outs in baseball. Say the texans offense starts the season hot, but as the year progresses they sputter, and the defense is on the field more. It could skew to more D-snaps later in the year. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to think he can do it. But it will be very unlikely, and if I was Kubiak/McNair I’d make sure if he was close in week 17 and they were out of contention to bench that fool for shaming the team.

  12. Remember if he is a Probowl player, he will get a new deal long before 2013, so their is no risk at all. If for some reason the Texans don’t do, he will made noise (miss OTA, theatren holdout or play out his deal and go elsewhere).
    If he is that good, he will get that money back – easy!

  13. The revote by AP is a compl;ete sham. It is just a PR stunt by AP to make it seem that they have standards to uphold. In reality, it seems Lou Farrara , media editor for the AP, would like Cushing to win the revote to keep the AP from setting the precedent of removing the winner of an award. Yesterday, the AP leaked an anonymous report that stated “He had one low-level positive test for HCG in September, and then every test after that was negative” . It was totally unnecessary for the AP to leak an anonymous report that is as self serving as the lie detector rumor. With the AP itself lobbying to minimize Cushing’s cheating, it is very likely that he will win the revote. That will be a sham and an embarrassment to the AP and the NFL itself. Roger Goodell should be embarrassed if that occurs.

  14. Methinks Texans fans that still cling to that 19-10 thing shouldn’t be calling others a douche.

  15. pkrjones says: May 12, 2010 10:19 AM
    Why not say all USC guys are dirty and suspend them all?
    Okay, sure.
    Bruins, bitch.

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