After Terrell Owens signed with the Seahawks, it was initially reported by multiple reporters that Owens received a minimum salary of $925,000, along with a signing bonus of $65,000. It resulted in a total package of $990,000, with a cap charge until the minimum salary benefit of $540,000.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, NFLPA records reveal that Owens got no bonus.
Instead, he has a base salary of $925,000, and nothing more.
Moreover, none of Owens’ salary is guaranteed. Receiver Braylon Edwards received a contract under the minimum-salary benefit program, but $270,000 of his base salary was fully guaranteed.
While the base salary becomes guaranteed as a practical matter if Owens is on the Week One roster (thanks to the CBA’s termination pay provision for vested veterans), if the Seahawks decide not to keep Owens, they owe him nothing.
If, in contrast, they decide not to keep Edwards, they’ll owe him $270,000.
Which, frankly, is the equivalent for billionaire owner Paul Allen of sitting in a deep sofa and having the change slide out of his pants pocket.
UPDATE 8/10/12 11:05 a.m. ET: Another source with direct knowledge of the contract says that the NFLPA records aren’t entirely correct. While Owens, contrary to initial reports, didn’t receive a $65,000 signing bonus, he’ll receive a $65,000 roster bonus if he’s on the Week One roster. The bottom line remains the same — if they decide they don’t want him before the start of the regular season, they can move on at no cost.