Much has been said about what the financial details of the new Richard Sherman contract are, may be, or will be. Although it may be too late to change the perception that, as initially reported, it’s a three-year, $39 million deal (it definitely isn’t), here are the real numbers.
1. The signing bonus is $3 million, not $5 million.
2. Sherman gets a $2 million roster bonus on the first day of training camp, if he passes a physical. (In other words, if he starts camp on the physically unable to perform list or the non-football illness/injury list, the payment won’t be earned.)
3. The base salary for 2018 is, as previously reported, $2 million.
4. As previously reported, Sherman has $2 million in per-game roster bonuses for 2018.
5. His $1 million playing-time incentive requires 90-percent participate in the 2018 defensive snaps.
6. For 2018, there’s a $1 million incentive for making it to the Pro Bowl.
7. There’s a $2 million incentive for being named to the Associated Press All-Pro team, which is harder to qualify for than the Pro Bowl, since it covers the full league, not one conference.
8. For 2019, the base salary is $7 million. The base salary becomes $8 million is he makes it to the Pro Bowl in 2018.
9. For 2019, the per-game roster bonuses are once again $2 million. If he makes it to the Pro Bowl, the per-game roster bonuses drop to $1 million.
10. Making the Pro Bowl in 2018 makes the 2019 salary of $8 million guaranteed for injury as of the third day of the league year. It becomes fully guaranteed on April 1, 2019. (In other words, the 49ers can cut Sherman after the 2018 season even if he’s injured during the 2018 season; the injury protection doesn’t kick in until the middle of March.)
11. The incentive package for 2019 is the same as 2018: $1 million for 90-percent playing time, $1 million for Pro Bowl, and $2 million for All-Pro team.
12. For 2020, the same base salary structure applies as in 2019. If Sherman doesn’t make it to the Pro Bowl in 2018, the salary remains a non-guaranteed $7 million, along with per-game roster bonuses of $2 million. Making the Pro Bowl in 2018 bumps the salary to $8 million in 2020, drops the per-game roster bonuses to $1 million, and guarantees the salary for injury only as of the third day of the 2019 league year. It becomes fully guaranteed on April 1, 2020.
13. For 2020, the same incentive package applies as in 2018 and 2019: $1 million for 90-percent playing time, $1 million for Pro Bowl, and $2 million for All-Pro team.
14. There’s a $50,000 workout bonus each year.
The full guarantee at signing is $3 million, and only $3 million. Another $4 million should be earned in 2018, if he passes the preseason physical. After that, it’s up to the 49ers as to whether the deal continues into 2019.
The full base value of the deal is $21.15 million, with another $18 million tied to per-game roster bonuses, annual 90-percent playing-time incentives, an annual Pro Bowl incentive, and an annual All-Pro incentive.
To get the full $39.15 million, Sherman will need to play all 48 regular-season games over the next three years, be on the field for at least 90 percent of the snaps, make it to the Pro Bowl every year, and qualify for the All-Pro team every year.