Inside the David Amerson deal

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Cut by Washington last year before landing in Oakland and thriving, cornerback David Amerson’s story became even more impressive when he signed a new five-year deal last week with the Raiders. As usual, the initial accounts of the numbers received by Amerson made the story seem a little better than it really is.

Described as a deal worth “as much as $38 million” with “nearly $18 million in guarantees,” here are the actual details, per a source with knowledge of the contract.

1. 2016 base salary of $1 million, fully guaranteed at signing.

2. $3 million roster bonus for 2016, fully guaranteed.

3. 2017 base salary of $6.5 million, guaranteed for injury at signing and the fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2017 league year.

4. $1.5 million roster bonus for 2017, fully guaranteed.

5. 2018 base salary of $5.5 million, guaranteed for injury at signing and the fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2018 league year.

6. 2019 base salary of $7 million, not guaranteed.

7. 2020 base salary of $7.38 million, not guaranteed.

8. $500,000 per year in workout bonuses, from 2017 through 2020. (Total available payout of $2 million.)

9. $500,000 per year in original-roster Pro Bowl escalators, 2017 through 2020. (Total available payout of $2 million.)

10. $500,000 per year in original-roster Pro Bowl incentives, 2016 through 2020. (Total available payout of $2.5 million.)

So here’s what it means. Amerson is guaranteed to receive $5.5 million at signing, with rolling injury-only guarantees of $12 million. That’s a total of $17.5 million in generally (not actually) guaranteed money at signing.

The deal itself has a maximum value of $38.38 million. But $4.5 million is tied directly to Amerson making it to the Pro Bowl on the original ballot in each of the next five years.

16 responses to “Inside the David Amerson deal

  1. That’s how you shield yourself Reggie from a one year wonder.

    But with Smith on the other side, this will turn out to be a sweet deal.

  2. What a great structure and signing on a young ascending player …..good job Reggie! He plays well he stays on the roster and gets paid, he flips we cut him after the season…’s reggie’s way… for play

  3. I was never worried. Reg is the best at doing contracts and protecting himself. Amerson played well, and stayed clean, and now he is incentivized to keep working and staying clean. Well done.

  4. What probably was the Raiders greatest weakness last year, (secondary) is now one of their strengths. That speaks volume especially after losing a first ballot hall of fame player, and one of the greatest secondary player ever to play.

    The additions of Sean Smith (thanks KC) and Reggie Nelson, to go along with first rd draft pick Karl Joseph is reason for optimism.All of them are signed for the next couple of years now, and 3 of the 4 are locked up for the next 4 years…..That should help as well.

    Go Raiders!!!! Go Reggie!!!!

  5. I know it sure seems like only yesterday that many of us Raiders fans were screaming to fire Reggie and he was fodder for the trash-talking that goes on from the haters out there. It’s truly remarkable to see what he’s been able to do as far as turning around the organization and balancing the books – not to mention his talent at actually acquiring talent!

    I loved Al…but he left us in shambles.

    Reggie’s first two years without key draft picks and still-bloated contracts aren’t held against him by THIS fan. He scratched his way out of that abyss.

    Unlike most GMs in this league, he truly seems to learn from his mistakes and doesn’t hold onto ‘scholarship players’. He’s a realist regarding the roster and a definite strategist with where the money goes.

    Every contract that’s been reported in his tenure (with the exception of the early Saffold deal-that-never-was) has tremendous value for the organization – easy outs, no dead weight/cap-hit carryovers, and pay for performance. When you look at what guys are signing extensions for, many of them likely COULD get more on the market…but they’re opting to stay in the Silver & Black because they WANT to be here. That’s a tremendous benefit when these things AREN’T contentious with your players. Happy players tend to perform. Even KO’s top FA contract for a Guard is widely considered to have a great team-friendly structure – so consistently difficult to do in this era of football.

    He also seems to be completely in sync with the coaching staff and Mark Davis. Let’s recall Mark’s message to Reggie last summer – “I need two corners” – and BANG…Amerson and Smith forming potentially the best duo we’ve have in many years.

    In Reggie we trust!


  6. So worst case scenario, if Amerson totally regresses this year, he will (by the end of the 2016-2017 season) have been paid a total of 4.8M for 2 years, one of which was very good. In the more likely scenario that he continues to play at a high level (but not first ballot pro-bowl level) then he will have been paid 34.8M over 6 years, which is an average salary on par with players like Buster Skrine (Jets) or Morgan Burnett (GB). Seems like a good deal for the Raiders.

  7. How do you get cut from Washington and end up with a contract like this? Sounds like he wasn’t motivated until he got cut. Will it be the same now that he has all this cash?

    In essence, this is probably more like a 3-year contract. In 2019 they will probably cut him unless he’s still playing at an All-Pro level.

  8. As much as I love Al Davis, I’m glad my Raiders found RM. It’s only right since Dangelo Hall and McFadden, each set us back 5 years, while Jamarcus “Codeine” Russian ex set us back 15.

    RIP Al, I hope you like what we’re doing now.

  9. chazthespaz says:
    Jul 19, 2016 8:59 PM

    OFF SEASON CHAMPS!!! 13 Peat!!!

    ps: RM is 16-48 with the Raiders. Please give this gift from God a life time contract.

    AFC West
    babygaga is the Gallagher of PFT. Smashing watermelons again and again.

  10. A great signing at a great price. If he plays at the same level as last season this is a steal for the Raiders. If he regresses and becomes an average CB, it’s still a good deal and he can be cut with minimal losses. It’s nice to see the Raiders building a good roster, in a smart way. Watch out for the Raiders the next few years, the years of futility and butt of all jokes may be coming to an end. I doubt many teams will be expecting an easy win as they have in the past.

  11. As a Raiders fan, I was perplexed by the initial reports about the contract – what was reported was close to what CB Sean Smith, a more proven player, got in early FA. That didn’t make sense.

    However, the actual contract details reveal that this is a brilliant contract structure: it protects both the team and provides injury insurance for the player.

    1. if Amerson underperforms and is healthy, the Raiders can cut him at any time without significant cap / cash consequence

    2. if Amerson performs, he gets paid well

    3. Amerson has injury insurance

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