March is a time for new NFL contracts and, inevitably, a gross overstatement of the value of certain contracts in the group texts sent to an ever-growing throng of reporters who willingly pass along not-entirely-accurate information to their followers in the hopes of beating someone else’s Twitter account to the punch by a handful of seconds, so that they can tell their bosses they were first.
The truth always follows the initial round of tweets. In some cases, it’s a little jarring.
Case in point. Von Miller‘s SIX-YEAR, $120 MILLION contract with the Bills. Anyone who understands anything about football economics knows that there’s no way a 33-year-old pass rusher will be making $120 million over the next six years. So what is the deal really worth?
Per a source with knowledge of the terms, here’s the full breakdown.
1. Signing bonus: $18.525 million.
2. 2022 base salary: $1.12 million, fully guaranteed.
3. 2023 roster bonus: $13.345 million, fully guaranteed.
4. 2023 base salary: $1.3 million, fully guaranteed.
5. 2024 base salary: $17.145 million, $10.71 million of which is fully guaranteed at signing. The rest becomes fully guaranteed in 2024.
6. 2025 base salary: $17.145 million.
7. 2026 base salary: $19.645 million.
8. 2027 base salary: $29.645 million.
9. 2022-27 per-game roster bonus: $255,000 annually.
10. 2022-27 workout bonus: $100,000 annually.
As a practical matter, the six-year, $120 million deal is a three-year, $52.5 million arrangement. So it’s $17.5 million per year, not $20 million. And the Bills have committed for three years, not six.
That said, Miller definitely is getting at least $45 million. The deal has fully-guaranteed money into year three; thus, Miller will either be with the Bills through 2024 or he’ll be getting paid by them. After that, it’s year to year. And there’s a very good chance that 2024 will be the final year.
Then again, who knows? Maybe by 2025 a non-guaranteed base salary of $17.145 million will be regarded as a bargain, even for a 36-year-old pass rusher.