A number of Vikings fans were a little peeved at the reported $25 million five year contract tight end John Carlson received from the Vikings on day two of free agency.
The reported numbers, however, do not tell the whole story and Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN shed some light on the situation Friday morning.
According to Pelissero’s source, only $9.1 million of the deal is fully guaranteed. That is made up of a $5 million signing bonus, his 2012 base salary of $2.9 million, and $1.2 million of his 2013 base salary.
So, essentially, the deal is structured as follows:
2012: $2.9 million
2013: $2.9 million
2014: $3.9 million
2015: $4.9 million
2016: $4.9 million
The deal also includes $100,000 workout bonuses on an annual basis.
The structure of the deal makes it so the Vikings can pay Carlson $11 million over the first two years, and then if they should choose to cut him after that they would take a $3 million cap hit in 2014. Pelissero describes this as the “sort of pay-as-you-go deal the Vikings have used for years to keep their cap healthy.”
Furthermore, his salary doesn’t jump up until 2014, at which point the NFL’s new television deal is expected to increase the salary cap dramatically.
Carlson’s cap hit should be about $4 million this season, while Sage Rosenfels’ cap hit is expected to be about $1.5 million. Letroy Guion’s contract details are not yet available, but he is expected to have a cap hit of around $3 million.
That should leave the Vikings with roughly $14.5 million in remaining cap space.