Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch earned a $1 million roster bonus on Sunday. There’s a chance he wouldn’t have.
PFT has confirmed that Lynch restructured his contract on Saturday, a day before the roster bonus came due. The new package includes a $500,000 reduction in his base compensation.
Per a source with knowledge of the contract, Lynch’s base salary has dropped from $4 million to $2.5 million, with a separate $1 million roster bonus due on the 11th day of the league year. The base salary is also fully guaranteed (previously, it wasn’t).
So, essentially, Marshawn traded $500,000 for a full and clear commitment that he’ll get at least $4.5 million this year.
The new contract still includes $750,000 in per-game roster bonuses (as did the old contract), and Lynch still can earn a workout bonus of $250,000. He now has an enhanced incentive package that maxes out at $3.75 million. Previously, his maximum additional earnings were $2 million.
The adjustment to the contract drops his cap number by $500,000, from $5.943 million to $5.443 million.
Although reports emerged in the aftermath of the signing of running back Doug Martin that Lynch was not in danger of being cut, it’s impossible to assume he would have remained on the roster if he had refused to agree to a deal that reduces his earnings by $500,000. Although 90 percent of his previous base pay has now been guaranteed, Marshawn took a 10-percent haircut. That surely wasn’t something he wanted to do.