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Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Digging deeper into Ferguson's extension


D'Brickashaw Ferguson's recent contract extension is notable on many levels.

Given the rules regarding the uncapped season and labor uncertainty, the New York Jets had to get creative and Ferguson had to assume some risk to get the deal done.

If you're more into the X's and O's of football than hardcore economics, then this item might not be for you. But if you want an idea of what teams must cope with to retain top veterans such as Tom Brady, please read ahead and be sure to click on the links.

In his Sunday notes column, Boston Globe reporter Albert Breer broke out some interesting facts about Ferguson's six-year, $60 million extension, which included $34.8 million in guarantees -- roughly $5 million more than Miami Dolphins left tackle Jake Long received after being drafted first overall in 2008.

Ferguson needed to take out personal injury insurance to protect himself because of the so-called "reallocation rule" that limits teams in guaranteeing a contract against skill and injury for extensions signed in an uncapped year. True guarantees encompass both (i.e. being cut because the player isn't good enough or injured), but in 2010, players and teams must negotiate one or the other. Ferguson wanted the Jets to guarantee the skill part.

National Football Post president Andrew Brandt wrote an educational analysis on the contract. Brandt is a former Green Bay Packers executive who handled player contracts from 1999 to 2008. As a consultant with the Philadelphia Eagles last year, he helped hammer out left tackle Jason Peters' mammoth extension after the Buffalo Bills traded him.

Brandt's piece predicted the Ferguson deal will impact the entire NFL and serve as a precedent for the Jets' future negotiations with cornerback Darrelle Revis, linebacker David Harris and center Nick Mangold.

"The deal made sense for both sides and set new standards for both guarantee levels for offensive lineman and New York Jet contracts to come in the months ahead," Brandt wrote.