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Breaking down Vontaze Burfict's new deal

8/28/2014

CINCINNATI -- We knew Vontaze Burfict became a well-paid man when he signed his three-year contract extension with the Cincinnati Bengals on Wednesday. Now we know just how well paid he is.

According to contract numbers obtained by ESPN Stats & Information, Burfict will make $6.9 million in guaranteed money across the life of his new deal. In theory, he'll see every dime of it before even taking a regular-season snap.

Burfict's guaranteed money breaks down into two figures. First, he received $3.1 million Wednesday in the form of a signing bonus. On top of that, the remaining $3.8 million will be awarded Saturday in the form of a roster bonus. In addition to that bonus money, Burfict also will bring in a base salary of $700,000 this season, bringing the full amount of his Year 1 salary to $7.6 million.

On the fifth day of the new league year next March, he'll also make a roster bonus of nearly $3.2 million, meaning he'll be awarded just shy of $10.8 million in the next six months.

Not bad for a former undrafted free agent who, before the extension, had been set to make just more than $570,000 before bonuses this year.

Across the life of Burfict's contract extension, his base salary figure will increase. Next season, he'll be in seven-figure territory. After making a $700,000 base salary in 2014, he'll make $1,050,000 in 2015, $2,850,000 in 2016, and $3,750,000 in 2017 when the deal ends. In addition to those base salaries and workout bonuses, Burfict also has the chance to make additional money each year starting in 2015 thanks to Pro Bowl escalators.

Burfict's 2015 Pro Bowl escalator has a max level of $175,000. In 2016, it's $350,000. In 2017, it goes up to $525,000. With the escalators factored in, Burfict's total cap figure in the new deal exceeds $20 million, just like what was previously reported.

He'll average $6.3 million per year on this second deal, putting him just barely inside the top-20 earning linebackers in the league. Dallas' Sean Lee, Miami's Dannell Ellerbe and Chicago's Lance Briggs are just ahead of Burfict, earning $7 million per year on their current contracts. Just below Burfict are Chad Greenway ($6.3 million), Connor Barwin ($6 million) and Karlos Dansby ($6 million).

Below is a year-by-year breakdown of Burfict's new contract: