Before free agency, many had ranked Ben Tate as the best available tailback option in free agency. The open market didn’t agree.
Per multiple reports, Tate’s new contract with the Brown is worth “up to” $7 million over two years. The presence of “up to” implies that the base value is lower. Which would make the per-year base value lower than the per-year base values of the contracts signed recently by Jaguars running back Toby Gerhart and Chargers running back Donald Brown.
Gerhart and Brown each signed three-year contracts with base values of $10.5 million. Both will pay out $7 million over the first two years.
The reports on Tate’s deal also omit the guaranteed money, which could mean it’s nothing to brag about. Gerhart got $4.5 million, and Brown pocketed $4 million.
Of course, all three deals are far better than Darren McFadden’s one-year arrangement in Oakland, which has a paltry $100,000 in guaranteed money. The clear message from all running back contracts is that the market remains depressed, but for the rare difference makers like Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy.