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.