The Philip Rivers contract details are beginning to trickle out, beyond the basic numbers and the no-trade clause.
Per a source with knowledge of the deal, Rivers earns a $22.5 million signing bonus on his new five-year deal. Unlike many contracts that convert the bulk of a large base salary to signing bonus, Rivers will still earn a base salary of $15 million, down from the $15.75 million he previously was due to earn.
That’s $37.5 million in total earnings for 2015. (Sources close to me tell me that’s a lot of money.)
Rivers has much more guaranteed money, but it’s guaranteed for injury only for now. The rest of the guarantees apply to 2016 and 2017, with an early trigger each year for the money to convert to a fully-guaranteed payment.
For 2016, $16.5 million is guaranteed for injury only until the second day of the 2016 waiver period, at which time it becomes fully guaranteed. In 2017, the base salary is $14 million; $11 million of it is guaranteed for injury only and the $11 million becomes fully guaranteed on the second day of the waiver period.
That’s $65 million in guaranteed money, and the early-February decision deadline for the Chargers means that either the money will become fully guaranteed or he’ll have a one-month head start on free agency.
In 2018, Rivers has a $5 million roster bonus due on the third day of the league year, along with a $10 million salary. In 2019, another $5 million roster bonus becomes due on the third day of the league year, with an $11 million salary.
It adds up to a total payout of $99 million over five years, and a new-money average of $20.8125 million. And with relative low payouts of $15 million in 2018 and $16 million in 2019, the Chargers likely won’t have to restructure the deal to create cap space — especially with the cap going up $10 million per year.