FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots signed veteran receiver Nate Washington to a one-year contract Thursday, and the financial details reflect Washington's status as a player on the roster bubble.
Total value: $1.065 million
Signing bonus: $60,000
Workout bonus: $20,000
Base salary: $985,000
Split salary: $478,000 (in event of injured reserve)
Salary cap charge: $680,000
This is a minimum salary benefit deal, which explains why the salary-cap charge is lower than the base salary. The minimum salary benefit was instituted to help late-career players such as Washington not be squeezed out in favor of younger, cheaper options on the salary cap. This deal reflects how Washington is one of several Patriots receivers on the roster bubble. The team is protected financially in the event of injury with the split salary. Meanwhile, Washington ensures that he will earn $80,000 (between signing bonus and workout bonus) regardless of whether he makes the roster, with financial upside to go over the $1 million mark if he makes the team and stays healthy throughout the season.