On Thursday the Kansas City Chiefs signed LB Tamba Hali to a five-year contract worth a reported $60 million and $35 million guaranteed. On Friday, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed LB LaMarr Woodley to a six-year deal worth $61.5 million.
Both guys were on the franchise tag so the long-term deals probably helped both, cap-wise, in year one.
After the first glance at Hali's deal, I said it was a win-win for both sides. Chiefs pay slightly below the number for elite pass-rushers and get to keep Hali for five years (and likely at a much lower cap number than his franchise tag this year, too). Hali gets paid on a long-term deal with lots of guaranteed money. It's all good.
Woodley reportedly received a six-year, $61.5 million deal. It will pay out $18.1 million in the first season and $27 million by year two. Woodley gets a lot of up-front money -- I'm guessing his year-one payout is more than Hali but I could be wrong -- and the Steelers actually lower his year one cap number by $3.5 million and get him under contract for six more years.
It's not a totally accurate comparison but sacks are a decent way to judge pass-rushers. Hali is coming off of a 14.5 sack season and averaged just over eight sacks a season in his first five years in the league. Woodley is coming off of a 10-sack season, has three consecutive seasons of 10-or-more sacks and has averaged just over nine sacks per season in his first four years.
I think both deals are pretty fair because both players are clearly highly productive but if I had to pick one I'd say Hali got a slightly better deal because his per-year average is $2 million more and it's a year shorter.