It was announced that D.J. Hayden was signed by the Raiders earlier this morning as the team began filing in for 2013 Training Camp. This afternoon we know know exactly how much the new Oakland cornerback talent will be making in his rookie contract.
ProFootballTalk is reporting, via a source with knowledge of the deal, that Hayden’s contract uses the same structure employed by the Dolphins at No. 3 (Dion Jordan), the Eagles at No. 4 (Lane Johnson), and the Browns at No. 6 (Barkevious Mingo), paying Hayden the elite rookie wage that the Raiders feel he deserves as they have been reported to have been prepared to select Hayden with the 3rd pick in the 2013 draft.
It’s a structure that neither the 11th pick (D.J. Fluker) nor the 13th pick (Sheldon Richardson) received and will
In exchange for keeping offset language in the deal, Hayden will receive guaranteed training-camp roster bonuses of $379,000 in 2014, $758,000 in 2015, and $1.1 million in 2016. He’ll also get guaranteed base salaries of $405,000 in 2013, $495,000 in 2014, $585,000 in 2015, and $675,000 in 2016.
Hayden’s signing bonus was $5.88 million, a fair number given Hayden;’s potential, regardless of whatever health issues he may have stemming from the near death experience he suffered while at the University of Houston when his inferior vena cava was ruptured during a practice collision with a teammate and cut his senior season short. If it was not for injury concerns, Hayden very likely would have been the highest rated cornerback in the draft and a potential Top 10 or even Top 5 pick. It is only fair that he gets paid like one, especially in exchange for allowing the Raiders to hedge their bets in case his health issues pop up between now and the start of his NFL career.
While Hayden won’t be able to double dip if the Raiders cut him before the expiration of the four-year contract, pushing money into roster bonuses reduces the salary for which the Raiders would receive credit if, for example, Hayden is cut between the launch of camp and the start of the regular season.
Now all Hayden has to do is focus on football, something that the University of Houston product is very good at. If he can keep performing like he did in college, he might be the Raiders best cornerback since Nnamdi Asomugha.