The proof is in his pay.
In a twist of fate, Watson will make more than $700,000 more than what starter Jimmy Graham does in total cash this year. According to numbers obtained by ESPN.com, Watson will earn $2.15 million this season, while Graham will make $1.323 million in 2013.
Anyone else out there thinking about a possible holdout by Graham if he doesn’t get an extension (and a big raise) of a rookie contract he clearly has outplayed?
For the record, Watson’s three-year deal is worth $4.95 million. He got a $1.2 million signing bonus and a $950,000 first-year base salary. Watson’s 2014 salary jumps to $1 million and he has a $250,000 roster bonus and a $50,000 workout bonus.
In 2015, Watson’s salary will be $1.2 million and he also will have a $250,000 roster bonus and a $50,000 workout bonus.
I’ve also obtained the numbers on some other contracts recently signed by New Orleans players. Receiver/special teams player Courtney Roby got a one-year deal worth $905,000. But the Saints designated Roby as a veteran minimum benefit player, meaning his cap figure for this year is just $555,000.
The Saints did a similar maneuver with linebacker Ramon Humber. His one-year deal is worth $740,000. But the veteran minimum benefit puts his cap number at $550,000.
According to my calculations, the Saints are roughly $1.85 million under the cap.