We knew the Arizona Cardinals and Larry Fitzgerald agreed to a contract that would pay him $22 million in guaranteed money over two seasons. We also know there are two other years after that, but that void. Those years had to be on the books because of previous salary cap prorations.
But now we know the details of the contract now, as tweeted by former agent Joel Corry.
Fitz' previous deal held a salary cap hit of $23.6 million in 2015. By simply releasing him, they would have saved a little more than $9 million, leaving more than $14 million in dead money against the cap.
Even though the Cardinals "overpaid" Fitz, as some are saying, the new contract is even more cap friendly. His salary cap hit for this year is $10.85 million, giving the Cardinals $12.75 million in cap savings -- more than $3 million more than if they had simply released him.
Here are the details of the money.
Fitz gets a $10 million fully guaranteed roster bonus on the second day of the league year. As it is fully guaranteed,the salary cap hit is prorated over the four years of the deal.
He will get a $1 million salary for the 2015 season.
His 2015 salary cap number includes the following:
- $1 million salary
- $2.5 million prorated hit for guaranteed roster bonus
- $2 million prorated hit for signing bonus from 2011 contract
- $3 million prorated for previous option bonus
- $2.35 million prorated hit for restructure bonus last offseason
- Total: $10.85 million
In 2016, he will get an $11 million salary. His cap hit will go up to $15.85 million. That includes the salary, a $2.5 million prorated hit for his new roster bonus and a $2.35 million prorated hit from his restructure bonus last offseason.
Then, after the season, the final two years will void. There will be $5 million of dead money from his new roster bonus and $4.7 million in dead money from the restructure bonus in 2014. His contract will count $9.7 million against the cap in 2017 unless his deal is extended.
For appearances only, his 2017 and 2018 salaries would be $16 million each season.
Still related to the contract, while Fitz still managed to land himself a good contact again, it wasn't what he reportedly wanted. Mike Jurecki reported Fitz wanted three years on his deal. The Cardinals guaranteed the two years completely.
As the saying goes, it isn't a good deal unless both sides aren't completely happy. I guess this means the deal wasn't too bad.
Was it overpaying? That's hard to say. 2016 could be more than desired, but Fitz got money and the Cards got more salary cap space than by simply releasing him. That is a good thing.