Elvis Dumervil landed $43.156M in guarantees in 2010. More recently, Tom Brady got $57M guaranteed, while Joe Flacco got $52M. Staggering figures, and big news, right?
Sure, except for the part about the guarantees.
Here at IAOFM, we've long taken pride in focusing on the guaranteed portions of player contracts. The advertised length and total value of deals tend to be farces, which only serve to make players seem better paid than they really are, and for their agents to prop up their own reputations.
Unfortunately, seeing through that BS wasn't enough - there are guarantees, and there are guarantees.
The Dumervil story is a prime example - it took more than 2.5 years for us to learn his 2013 salary wouldn't actually become guaranteed until today at 4pm ET (and it won't).
At least in the case of Wes Welker, we're getting the full details now.
Welker's contract was first reported as a two-year deal worth a guaranteed $12M.
Here's the truth:
Welker will draw a $2M salary and $4M roster bonus in 2013, and a $3M salary plus $3M roster bonus in 2014. He'll receive a $150K incentive if he reaches the 90-catch plateau within either (or both) season(s).
The caponomics are straightforward - he'll count for $6M each year against Denver's cap.
But his 2014 compensation is currently only guaranteed for injury, and will not become fully guaranteed until next March.
This means Welker essentially has a one-year deal, and the Broncos hold a one-year option on him for 2014, for which they have until March 2014 to decide whether to keep or release him.
Welker's 2013 comp is guaranteed, but his 2014 pay is just guaranteed.
Crystal clear, right?