When the Saints signed running back C.J. Spiller, only days after signing running back Mark Ingram to a four-year, $16 million contract, the value of Spiller’s contract would reveal how the Saints viewed Spiller relative to Ingram.
The deal has a total value of four years, $18 million. Initially, I thought that was the base value of the contract. It actually was the maximum value, with the base value being $16 million over four — the same as Ingram’s.
Per a source with knowledge of the contract, Spiller can make the extra $2 million via escalators in 2017 and 2018. In 2017, he gets up to $700,000 based on factors such as getting to the Pro Bowl and generating specific amounts of rushing and receiving yards. In 2018, Spiller gets up to $1.3 million based on the same factors.
Also, the 2018 season voids (making it a three-year, $12.6 million deal) if Spiller makes it to two Pro Bowls in the next three years or becomes a first-team All Pro in 2017.
The deal includes a $5 million signing bonus, a fully-guaranteed base salary of $750,000 in 2015, a $1.7 million base salary in 2016 guaranteed for injury at signing and fully-guaranteed on the third day of the 2016 league year, a fully-guaranteed (five days after signing) roster bonus of $1.55 million due in 2016, a $3.1 million salary and a $500,000 roster bonus in 2017, and a $2.9 million salary and a $500,000 roster bonus in 2018.
So while Spiller can unlock more money over the next four years than Ingram, the team sees them as essentially the same, when assessed over a four-year window. They undoubtedly will be used very differently, with Ingram running between the tackles and Spiller’s speed used in the passing game and around the edge.