Interesting structure, makes quite a bit more sense now.
Michael Smith of ESPN.com reports that receiver Donte' Stallworth has agreed to terms with the Patriots. But, contrary to the report, the deal does not include $12 million in guaranteed money. And it is not a straight six-year deal.
Instead, a league source tells us that it's a one-year deal with an option for a second year, and then an option for four more years.
In year one, Stallworth gets $1 million to sign, a workout bonus of $300,000, a base salary of $700,000, and a $1.6 million roster bonus payable if he makes the 53-man roster at the start of the reason.
Stallworth also can earn up to $400,000 in incentives. He'll get $100,000 if he catches 70 passes, another $100,000 if he catches 75 passes, another $100,000 if he catches 80 passes, and $100,000 if he is on the Pro Bowl team.
A $6 million option bonus is due shortly before the start of the 2008 league year, but after the deadline for designating franchise players. This requires the team to either pick up the option, or to allow Stallworth to hit the market unfettered by the franchise tag.
In 2008, there's also a $2 million roster bonus due on the first day of the league year, a $400,000 workout bonus, a $1 million base salary, and a $1.6 million roster bonus payable if he makes the season-opening 53-man roster.
In 2009, there's a $2 million option bonus, payable after the franchise tag deadline but before the start of the league year. If the option is exercised, the deal runs through 2012.
Also in 2009, Stallworth will receive a $400,000 workout bonus, a $1 million base salary, and a $1.6 million roster bonus based on making the season-opening 53-man roster.
In 2010 through 2012, the deal has the same terms in each year: $500,000 workout bonus and $4 million salary.
In all, it's a one-year $3.6 million deal that can be worth up to $4 million, or a two-year, $14.6 million deal that can be worth as much as $15 million, or a three-year, $19.6 million deal that can be worth as much as $20 million.
The Pats can then add on additional years at $4.5 million each, with a maximum contract value of $33.5 million.
But the only truly guaranteed money is $1 million. Not $12 million.