Last year, receiver Sammy Watkins got to the open market and signed a contract that, in many respects, was better than Odell Beckham’s eventual new deal. Now, Antonio Brown‘s revised deal is better than the contract signed last year by Watkins.
Watkins, who was unrestricted and could have gone anywhere, will make $48 million over three years, with $30 million fully guaranteed at signing. Brown, who was under contract for three more years and supposedly had no leverage at all, will make $50.125 million over the next three years, with $30.125 million fully guaranteed. That’s an average from signing of $16.7 million — higher than the value of any receiver deal when assessed as a full-value, moment-of-execution deal. (Beckham’s deal is worth $16.4 millon from signing, but he’s under contract for five more years.)
It’s unclear how much of the $50.125 million Brown actually will make. Watkins likely will be released after 2019, but he’ll still exit with $34 million over two years, an average of $17 million per year.
Brown, if he stays only two years, will earn at least $30.125 million — and he’ll have a shot at the open market at the age of 32 going on 33 (not to be confused with 32 going on 73). Issues like whether he’s likely to stay with the Raiders for all three years along the amount of money he’s expected to earn as a practical matter will become more clear when the final terms surface. For now, though, Brown has a deal that trumps all others under a new-money analysis, and that rises to the top of the stack when considering the value of the contract at signing.
Of course, that may not last very long. But, for now, Brown is the king of the receiver hill, again.