As the Bengals continue shuffling personnel around this offseason through extensions, signings and releases, they felt it was important to keep Peko's veteran presence. The defensive tackle's contract was nearing its end following the 2014 season, and they wanted to repay his service and team leadership by committing to him just a little longer.
Peko, who has never had to play through a contract year, signed a two-year extension last Thursday that will keep him in Cincinnati through the 2016 season. It means the Bengals will have in place for at least another three years three key members of their defensive line. Starting defensive tackle Geno Atkins and defensive end Carlos Dunlap are signed through 2017.
With defensive end Michael Johnson's departure for Tampa Bay earlier this offseason, the Bengals felt it was important to keep at least some semblance of the line that they have had recently. Johnson, a 2009 Bengals draft selection, was a free agent this offseason. He signed with the Buccaneers earlier this month on a contract that will pay about $8.75 million annually the next five seasons.
Peko's extension will end up giving him about $4.5 million per year between now and 2016. On his previous contract, a five-year, $27.7 million extension he signed in 2008, he had been making just short of $5.6 million a season.
Per the parameters of Peko's updated contract, he will have a cap value of $5.9 million in 2014, $3.7 million in 2015 and $3.725 million in 2016. On his previous contract, he was slated to make in 2014 a little more than $4.1 million in base salary, plus a $200,000 bonus. The new contract was amended to cut down his base salary to $1.3 million. But he also was given a $4.4 million roster bonus for signing the contract, and will receive an additional $200,000 workout bonus to hit the $5.9 million mark. The $4.4 million roster bonus is the only guaranteed money the Bengals will be paying Peko these next three years.
Here is the breakdown of Peko's contract extension, provided by ESPN Stats & Information: