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Breaking Down the 2010 Free Agent Contracts

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Darren Urban of the Cardinals’ official website addressed the contracts of the 2010 free agency crop, including Joey Porter, Derek Anderson, Paris Lenon, and Rex Hadnot.  While Anderson and Porter’s contracts are sizable, Urban believes both give the Cardinals some leeway after one season if the team goes in a different direction. 

Joey Porter naturally received most of the attention because he’s the “big fish” this off-season.  Urban explains Porter’s contract:

According to the NFL Players Association, Porter’s three-year contract — worth a reported $17.5 million — provides Porter with a $1.25 million salary in 2010 and $5.75 million salaries in 2011 and 2012. Assuming the $17.5 million is correct, that gave Porter $4.75 million in bonuses or other non-salary money. Even if all that money is up front, that’s $6 million for 2010, not an out-of-whack up-front commitment. (UPDATE: Hat tip to Mike Sando, who saw the post and let me know Porter’s signing bonus was $4 million with workout bonuses of $250,000 each season. Seeing Porter work out the first couple days, I am guessing he’ll collect that money, but it also means “just” $5.5 million in 2010.)”

Perhaps there are those that feel Porter’s money should have been put towards re-signing Dansby.  It’s fair issue to bring up, but it’s easily resolved. 

First, the Cardinals attempted numerous times to coax Dansby into re-singing for a “reasonable” amount, including a reported 11th hour offer on the day Miami signed him.  At that time, it seemed the Cardinals at least made an offer to compete with whatever the Dolphins were kicking around.  There’s little doubt, however, that the Cardinals’ numbers were less than what Miami was willing to pay.  It’s relatively safe to assume that if the Cardinals matched the Dolphin’s offer Dansby would have come back to Arizona.

Second, Dansby and Porter’s contracts aren’t even close.  The Dolphins will pay Dansby more than $16 million in 2010, according to the NFL Players Association.  That breaks down as an $11.6 million signing bonus, plus $4.8 million in base salary.  The remainder of Dansby’s five-year, $43 million contract ($22 million guaranteed) breaks down as follows: $2.7 million in 2011, $8.8 million in 2012, $6.05 million in 2013 and $9.05 million in 2014.  In other words, Porter’s entire 3-year contract is only $1.5 million more than Dansby’s first year.  To argue that the Cardinals paid Porter essentially what Miami paid Dansby is ludicrous.  If the Cardinals slightly overpaid for Porter, the Dolphins grossly overpaid for Dansby.

Darren Urban also addressed Anderson, Leinart, and Lenon’s contracts:

Anderson’s deal was worth a reported $7.25 million for two seasons. His salary for 2010 is just $650,000 (with approximately $2.7 million in bonus money) before jumping to $3.9 million in 2011.  Again, a fair split for a quarterback and also workable if the Cards decide to quickly go elsewhere at the position.  Much has been made about how much Matt Leinart will make in 2011 if he stays under his current deal (north of $12 million for sure, and more if he plays really well) but the Cards are clearly trying to stay flexible at the position.

Lenon is schedule to make $900,000 in salary this season before $1.4 million salaries in 2011 and 2012, while Hadnot’s salaries on a three-year deal break down to $1 million this year and $1.5 million in 2011 and 2012.”


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