Two years ago, Sam Bradford signed a two-year, $36 million deal with the Eagles. Last week, he signed a two-year, $40 million deal with the Cardinals.
If it sounded too good to be true, there’s a reason for that. It is.
The full-breakdown of the supposed two-year, $40 million shows that it’s really a one-year deal, with a team-held option for 2019. The option must be exercised by the third day of the 2019 league year; at that time, he gets a fully-guaranteed roster bonus of $10 million and a fully-guaranteed base salary of $7.5 million.
So to get $17.5 million next year (plus $2.5 million in per-game roster bonuses), Bradford will have to earn his $20 million in 2018. And by $20 million, of course, I mean $15 million. As Gantt previously noted, a full $5 million of Bradford’s supposed $20 million haul in 2018 is tied to Bradford actually being able to suit up and play in each and every game.
It’s still not bad at all that Bradford got $15 million guaranteed for a supposedly degenerative knee. But Case Keenum‘s $18 million per year on a two-year deal suddenly looks a lot better if Bradford gets to $20 million per year only if he plays in every game of both years. Keenum gets $25 million fully guaranteed at signing, and the whole $36 million is guaranteed for injury.
So if Keenum tears an ACL in training camp and for some reason can’t play for two years, he gets $36 million. If that happens to Bradford (again), he gets $15 million. Which seems a lot more fair and equitable given their respective performances from a year ago in Minnesota.