Contract of Chiefs First Round Draft Pick Taking Shape

Though we can't confirm whether Tyson Jackson and his agent have opened negotiations with the Chiefs, we're beginning to see the contracts around him taking shape.

I've already tried to predict Jackson's rookie contract with the Chiefs.  I predicted what the floor and ceiling would be for the third pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, using the previous year's numbers at that slot and a percentage increase. 

Now we know (albeit roughly) the contract numbers for the first (Matthew Stafford) and fifth (Mark Sanchez) picks.  This is big news for the second, third and fourth picks, who have now established the floor and the ceiling for their deals.  Generally (though not always, see below) the first pick gets the most guaranteed, second pick the next most, third pick the next, and so on.  This is part of the reason these contracts don't get done sooner.  Agents are always ready to strike the best deal but they may not be able to do that until the player picked right before them gets signed so that

That's why it's important that the first and fifth picks got done and sandwich the second, third and fourth picks.

J. Long C. Long M. Ryan D. McFadden G. Dorsey
Length 5 5 6 6 5
Total $57.5 M $48 M $66 M $60 M $33 M
Avg/Year $11.5 M $9.6 M $11 M $10 M $6.6 M
Guaranteed $30 M $22.385 M $34.75 M $26 M $22.5 M
2008 $295,000 $295,000 $295,000 $295,000 $295,000
2009 $6.5 M $385,000 $5 M $385,000 $2.385 M
2010 $9 M $1.11 M $10.25 M $470,000 $3.2335 M
2011 $10 M $1.835 M $10.25 M $555,000 $4.08225 M
2012 $10 M $2.56 M $11 M $650,000 $4.356 M
2013 $10.75 M* $3.285 M* $10 M $660,000** $2.75 M***

*Voided year due to rookie playing time incentive.  **Discrepancy with McFadden's base salaries noted in comments  ***Option year

Quick note on the base salaries.  For our purposes, they mean nothing.  The way contracts are structured you can either have large base salaries (J. Long, Ryan) and lessen the signing bonus or small base salaries (C. Long, McFadden) and make it up with the signing bonus.  For the purposes of this post, they mean nothing.  We don't care how the money is broken down, we just want to know the final numbers.  I added them in there because it's interesting to note the disparity between the picks.  Some teams hand out large base salaries, some hand out large signing bonuses.

The guaranteed money is what we're really interested in.  The difference in the guaranteed money per year for Jake Long and Matthew Stafford is about $950,000.  Long's is $30 million, over six years, or $6 million average.  Stafford's  is $41.7 million, over six years, or a $6.95 million average. 

This should show you that there is a sizable increase in guaranteed money every year.

Here's how the annual average of guaranteed money works out so far in comparison to last year:

#1 - J. Long ($6M per year) to Stafford ($6.95M per year) is about a 15% increase

#2 -C. Long ($4.47M per year) to Jason Smith (???)

#3 - Ryan ($5.67M per year) to Tyson Jackson (???)

#4 - McFadden ($4.3M per year) to Aaron Curry (???)

#5 - Dorsey ($4.5M per year) to Sanchez ($5.6M per year) is about a 25% increase

Last year, it was Matt Ryan's contract that threw things out of whack.  This year it's Mark Sanchez.  Both play quarterback, which is a premium position, so the argument is there that they should receiver a higher payout. 

According to a Pro Football Talk report yesterday, Sanchez's deal will pay him $32.5 million over the first year.  Dorsey's deal will pay him $33 million over the first five years.  See the problem here the Chiefs might be facing?  The market for the #3 pick has been set and it's high.  Very high.

The Floor

Mark Sanchez has set the floor for the Tyson Jackson contract negotiations.  Although Sanchez got a premium on his deal because of the position he plays, Jackson's money won't dip below the reported $28 million guaranteed and nearly $60 million (potential) total contract Sanchez received.  The base deal for Sanchez, however, calls for a $50.5 million total value.

So, here are the basics for the floor of Jackson's contract:

Base contract: $10.1 million per year

Guaranteed money: $5.6 per year

Matt Ryan had a fairly sizable contract last season for a couple of reasons:

  1. Quarterback is a premium position
  2. The deal was completed just hours before the owners unanimously opted out of the labor agreement.  If the deal hadn't been done before the opt out, then the contract could have only been for five years, not six.

Those reasons could have a couple of effects on the Chiefs negotiations with Jackson:

  1. Both sides will realize that deal was above market value at the time and agree to a limited percentage increase
  2. The deal will further the divide between the two sides in negotiations because they both will claim to have leverage.  The Chiefs will point out that Ryan's deal was for a quarterback and not a defensive end.  Jackson's representation will argue for the X amount of percentage increase that every other draft pick is getting.
  3. Which way will it go?  That's quite literally the million dollar question at this point.

Predicting the ceilling is a lot different.  It doesn't appear to be a regimented pattern in the least.  You'll notice Stafford's contract was a 15% increase in guaranteed money and Sanchez's was a 25% increase.  And then Sanchez will get the same amount of money in three years that Dorsey will get in five and they were both picked in the fifth slot.  There's so many different ways to work a contract that I can't make an educated guess on it. 

The variables of quarterback vs. defensive end, % increase, money given out over first three years all seem so fluid that there's no accurate way in judging how the negotiations will go.

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