On Thursday morning, word emerged of a new contract between the Broncos and quarterback Russell Wilson. The news was unexpected. The details are unexpected, too.
It’s not a fully-guaranteed deal. It doesn’t make Wilson the highest-paid quarterback in the league. It does tie him to the Broncos for seven years, longer than any prior commitment Wilson has made.
Mike Klis of 9News.com has the details of the contract. Here they are:
1. Signing bonus: $50 million.
2. 2022 option bonus: $5 million, fully guaranteed.
3. 2022 base salary: $2 million, fully guaranteed.
4. 2023 option bonus: $20 million, fully guaranteed.
5. 2023 base salary: $8 million, fully guaranteed.
6. 2024 option bonus: $22 million fully guaranteed.
7. 2024 base salary: $17 million, fully guaranteed.
8. 2025 base salary: $37 million, guaranteed for injury at signing and fully guaranteed as of March 2024.
9. 2026 base salary: $40 million, with “partial” injury guarantees.
10. 2027 roster bonus: $1 million.
11. 2027 base salary: $44 million.
12. 2028 base salary: $50 million.
The deal has $124 million fully guaranteed at signing. The practical guarantee is $161 million over four years, given that the 2025 base salary becomes fully guaranteed in 2024, a full year early.
The cash flow is $57 million through the first year, $85 million through two years, $124 million through three years, and $161 million through four years.
He was due to make $51 million over the next two years. He’ll make $34 million more than that.
The deal has a new-money value of $49 million for the five-year extension. Factoring in the two existing years, it’s $42.2 million over seven years.
That’s seven years. The Broncos hold his rights through 2028. They can, if they so choose, give him a new deal if the market and/or salary cap get out of whack. But they don’t have to.
It’s a great contract, but it’s not as great as it could have been. And it makes it harder for other quarterbacks who hope to raise the bar with fully-guaranteed deals and/or a guaranteed percentage of the salary cap.