The Chiefs broke the bank this week for linebacker Justin Houston, rewarding the man who racked up 22 sacks with a six-year, $101 million deal.
So how does that much money get paid out through 2020? Here are the specifics, per a source with knowledge of the contract:
1. $20.5 million signing bonus ($8.5 million is deferred until April 1, 2016);
2. $1 million base salary for 2015, fully guaranteed;
3. $14.9 million base salary for 2016, $11 million of which is fully guaranteed at signing, and another $3.75 million becomes fully guaranteed if he’s on the roster the third day of the 2016 league year;
4. $100,000 workout bonus for 2016;
5. $16.35 million base salary for 2017, $6.75 million of which becomes fully guaranteed if Houston is on the roster the third day of the 2016 league year and another $9.5 million of which becomes fully guaranteed if Houston is on the roster the third day of the 2017 league year;
6. $150,000 workout bonus for 2017;
7. $14.75 million non-guaranteed base salary for 2018;
8. $250,000 workout bonus for 2018;
9. $15.25 million non-guaranteed base salary for 2019;
10. $250,000 workout bonus for 2019;
11. $17 million non-guaranteed base salary for 2020;
12. $500,000 workout bonus for 2020.
The cap numbers are $5.1 million for 2015, $19.1 million for 2016, $20.6 million for 2017; $19.1 million for 2018; $19.6 million for 2019; and $17.5 million for 2020.
Houston has $32.5 million fully guaranteed at signing, and another $10.5 million becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2016 league year. The deal created more than $8 million in cap space for 2015, with cap numbers that will be reasonable in the out years — especially if the cap keeps going up by $10 million or more per year.
As noted earlier this week, the total value was an important term for Houston because, with only four NFL seasons, he should be able to cash every check of this contract, which based on the structure is essentially guaranteed for three seasons, and year-to-year thereafter.