Here are some excerpts from a posting Jerry McDonald did on the Oakland Raiders recently signed contracts.
Apparently sensitive to the perception that they are recklessly throwing millions of dollars at free agents who ordinarily wouldn’t give the Raiders a second look, the club took the unusual step Wednesday of confirming (or in their mind, correcting) some salary figures.
Frankly, the idea of being free spenders is good publicity, because it brings interest and a sense of confidence not only for the fan base, but draws in more potential free agents.
The Javon Walker deal will pay the wide receiver $16 million over two seasons. Walker got $6 million to sign and salaries of $5 million each of the next two seasons.
The rest of the deal is heavily backloaded with money Walker won’t see unless he approaches the 89 receptions, 1,392 yards and 12 touchdowns compiled in Green Bay in 2004.
Given that players are seldom if ever cut after one year after receiving a sizable signing bonus, Walker has essentially been guaranteed $16 million.
The Kwame Harris deal is essentially one year for $3 million, giving both the club and Harris the chance to revisit the situation after one season. There was never any guaranteed money reported regarding Harris’ signing
Most fans understand the figures associated with the entire deal are blown out of proportion by inflated salaries on the back end.
[Tommy] Kelly’s deal includes $29.5 million in salary over the last five years, $19.5 million over the last three years. If Kelly isn’t as good as the Raiders expect, he’ll never see that money.
Walker’s contract has salaries of $10 million on the back end. Those checks will probably never be written.