Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New England Patriots [Print without images]

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Closer look at Edelman's contract

By Mike Reiss

Breaking down receiver Julian Edelman’s contract with the Patriots:

Term: Four years
Signing bonus: $5 million
Maximum value: $19 million

2014
Base: $1 million (guaranteed)
Roster bonus: $500,000 ($31,250 per game on 46-man roster)
Incentives: Up to $500,000
Cap: $2.75 million

2015
Base: $2.25 million ($2 million guaranteed for injury only, converts to skill guarantee in ’15)
Roster bonus: $750,000 ($46,875 per game on 46-man roster)
Incentives: Up to $500,000
Cap: $4.25 million

2016
Base: $2.5 million
Roster bonus: $750,000 ($46,875 per game on 46-man roster)
Offseason workout: $250,000
Incentives: Up to $500,000
Cap: $4.75 million

2017
Base: $3 million
Roster bonus: $750,000 ($46,875 per game on 46-man roster)
Offseason workout: $250,000
Incentives: Up to $500,000
Cap: $5.25 million

QUICK-HIT THOUGHTS: This is what we’d define as a “real” contract that gives Edelman a chance to earn all the money because there are no volatile spikes in future years to inflate the overall terms of the contract (in contrast to Darrelle Revis’ contract). In looking at the incentives, one thing that stood out was that one of them was for team wins, which was a different twist to tie the team’s success into a player’s earnings. There was interest in comparing this contract to what Danny Amendola signed last year, and the feeling here is that Edelman, while coming up a bit short of Amendola's guaranteed money, was simply hurt a bit by timing. Had he had a 105-catch season in 2012 and hit the market in 2013, he probably would have commanded more. But the market takes on a different shape each year and the overall receiver market was down in 2014 compared to last year. Thus, the feeling here is that Edelman did well given those circumstances, and the Patriots rewarded him fairly while navigating a tricky situation because of the Amendola deal.