Sam Darnold yields on offsets, but gets several terms in return


Jets quarterback Sam Darnold won’t be doing any “double dipping” (Chris Simms had a different term for it on Monday’s PFT Live, and Steve Levy would be proud), but Darnold picked up plenty of other non-financial terms in order to get his deal done.

Darnold’s deal includes offset language on his future guarantees, meaning that the Jets will get credit for anything he makes with another team, if he ends up being cut. In exchange for yielding on that term (which none of the top-10 players obtained this year), Darnold picked up several other key terms.

First, the Jets will pay out the full $20 million signing bonus within the next 15 days. Teams rarely if ever pay out the money that quickly, especially to rookies.

Second, all language voiding guarantees based on fines has been removed. As one source explained it, this means that Darnold has protection against league- and/or team-imposed fines on a wide variety of topics, from forgetting to let the urine sample collector know he left town for an unplanned trip to the kind of petty fine that the Chargers imposed on safety Eric Weddle as he was entering his last legs with the team. If the regime changes and if a new coach or G.M. wants to move on from Darnold, it’s important to limit any avenues for wiping out his guaranteed money and, in turn, allowing him to be cut with no further financial obligation.

Third, Darnold obtained the same language as Giants running back Saquon Barkley regarding suspension for on-field rules violations. Before scoffing at the idea that quarterbacks would be fined for helmet-related infractions, consider what may happen when a quarterback is trying to execute a head-first sneak under the new helmet rules. At best it’s uncertain as to whether quarterbacks will be punished, so it’s better to be protected.

Fourth, Darnold will get his sizable training-camp roster bonuses even if he’s on the active/non-football injury list when camp opens. This protects him against, for example, a sprained ankle while playing basketball a week or two before the start of training camp that keeps him from passing the physical when he reports.

The holdout wasn’t about money, because nothing can be done to change the available cash. He was going to make $30.2 million over the next four years regardless of the specific terms of the deal. But he’s now far more likely to actually receive all of it, since the Jets have far fewer devices for shenanigans if a new regime decides it doesn’t want Darnold (or that Darnold is another Christian Hackenberg) and doesn’t want to pay him.

17 responses to “Sam Darnold yields on offsets, but gets several terms in return

  1. I have no problem with any of this. In fact, I’m not sure I’d want anyone on my team that objects to offset language. It means if you stink you make more money than if you were great. There’s just something about that idea that rubs me the wrong way.

    As far as the other four items I think that will become standard in the near future. However, it also shouldn’t be because as soon as that becomes “standard” they will ask for something more without giving up anything that has since become “standard”.

    Now the Jets better hope he doesn’t become enamored with the $20M and turns into Matt Leinart 2.0.

  2. “It means that you make more money if you stink than if you were great. There’s just something about that idea that rubs me the wrong way”.

    Of course it does, because you’ve never been great at anything, and never will be.

    Sam already earned his money simply by being the 2nd overall pick. His talent, hard work, and dedication to his craft are things that you are incapable of understanding.

  3. He’s from USC… History will dictate again.
    Jets should of known better and gone another direction on their QB.
    He’ll be working in camp with that little QB in Cleveland by his 4th year… Baker who?

    Josh Rosen will be the breakout QB — mark it!

  4. This should have been done quicker. Offset clauses are reasonable; the player doesn’t need a double-dip windfall from getting cut. Presumably the Jets stuck the ridiculous guarantee language in as a bargaining chip they could give up, in order to get the offset language. So this negotiation played out exactly the way it was planned to–why wasn’t it done in time?

  5. Consider this – with 20MM paid up front, Darnold is making 10-12MM over 4 years, or 3MM/year.

    Are you going to cut your highly drafted QB after 3 years if he’s only making 3MM?
    You do need a backup in any case. So it’s highly unlikely he gets cut given that huge signing bonus.

    Yeah, I’d give up offsets too if I could get 2/3 of my next 4 years pay in 2 weeks.

    If I was a player I’d be asking him who his agent is.

  6. Sports money is just such a bizarre thing. You have a good college career and sign on the dotted line and instant multi-millionaire before doing anything….nuttin….nada…..zilch….zero….

  7. Meanwhile Teddy Bridgewater is on the roster and should be the starter game 1.. you know what McCown will get you and its not 10 wins. Let Darnold study and develop and let Teddy ball out.

  8. “Yeah, I’d give up offsets too if I could get 2/3 of my next 4 years pay in 2 weeks.”

    Me too. But with the wrong guy that could also prove to be disastrous. Hypothetically, if a guy blew threw all that money instantly then four years is a very long time if you’ve already blown 2/3rds of your paychecks. With all the guaranteed money gone it’s not even clear when his next check of any kind would be. If he has any performances incentives then he might get something later in the season but after that it he’d probably be waiting until start of next season for a roster bonus or something like that.

  9. Meanwhile Teddy Bridgewater is on the roster and should be the starter game 1.. you know what McCown will get you and its not 10 wins. Let Darnold study and develop and let Teddy ball out.


    Darnold is going to start Week 1, Teddy will be moved to a team that needs a QB by September.

  10. Wait… So they’d rather pay 20 Mil now, to gain the right to
    a dollar for dollar credit if they decide to cut him later?
    (which would mean he was a bust)

    Someone explain to me how this is a better option for the team?

  11. So the media is 100% in favor of players double dipping at the expense of NFL teams.
    Hmm funny but when military retirees try to do the same, the media excoriates them, same for any private sector executive, politician (non-democrat of course), or private business owner.
    If a player is drafted in the 1st round, and sucks, the team NEEDS a way to get out of that contract without having to continue to pay a player that they cut, hence the offset language.
    If a player refuses the offset language, then the player is effectively saying that yes, there is a distinct possibility that he will suck, could be cut, and sign a minimum deal with another team.
    THAT is a sign that the player has a poor work ethic and is in it solely for the money.
    WHY is it so hard for the media to understand that the team knows that 1st rd picks have a 50/50 shot at success and therefore need protection against a JaMarcus Russell fiasco?

  12. Ohhhhh… the Jets will always be the Jets! Good for you Sam! Now, let’s see how good you are on the field. No more watching college film. It’s time to suit up and shut up!

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