Football / Sports

How Andy Dalton's $115 million deal compares to Joe Flacco's $120.6 million contract

When the San Francisco 49ers signed quarterback Colin Kaepernick to a contract earlier this year with a maximum value of $126 million that was billed as having $61 million guaranteed, it was actually a deal with just $12.328 million guaranteed at the time of signing.

Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown followed a similar team-friendly, pay-as-you-go approach to a six-year contract extension this week for quarterback Andy Dalton, which differs greatly from how the Ravens structured their blockbuster contract for Joe Flacco.

The Baltimore Sun has obtained a copy of Dalton's contract.

While Flacco signed a $120.6 million deal that included a $29 million signing bonus and $51 million guaranteed, Dalton's contract has a maximum value of $115 million with a $12 million signing bonus and a total of $17 million guaranteed.

Dalton's six-year, $115 million contract has a base value of $97.086 million, including a $12 million signing bonus and $17 million guaranteed.

The Dalton deal has an additional $18 million capable of being earned if he triggers escalator clauses. Those clauses are divided each year by the chance to make up to $3 million by qualifying for the playoffs, including divisional round, conference championship and the Super Bowl. There's also a playing-time component to the escalator clauses where he has to play 80 percent of the snaps.

Dalton has a $986,027 base salary this year.

The contract includes a $100,000 reporting bonus and a $5 million roster bonus to be paid within three days of signing. His first-year compensation totals $18.086 million with a salary-cap figure of $9.059 million.

Dalton is due a $3 million base salary, a $200,000 workout bonus and a $4 million roster bonus in 2015. That marks the first year of his annual $3 million escalator clause. Dalton has a $9.6 million salary-cap figure in 2015.

From 2015 through the final year of the contract that runs through 2020, Dalton has annual $200,000 workout bonuses and identical $3 million escalator clauses.

His base salary for 2015 is $10.5 million with a $13.1 million salary-cap figure.

Dalton's base salary in 2017 is $13.1 million with a $15.7 million salary-cap figure.

Dalton has a $13.7 million base salary in 2018 with a $16.3 million salary-cap figure.

Dalton has a $16 million base salary in 2019 with a $16.2 million salary-cap figure.

During the final year of the deal in 2020, Dalton is due a $17.5 million base salary and a $17.7 million salary-cap figure.

Unlike Kaepernick, Dalton has no de-escalator clauses. Kaepernick's contract has a provision that would lower his base salary per year by $2 million starting in 2015 if he doesn't meet playing-time and Pro Bowl requirements.

The Ravens didn't include any language like that in Flacco's contract.

Flacco was already paid a $15 million option bonus this year and is due a fully guaranteed $6 million base salary with a $14.8 million salary-cap figure.

Flacco is due a $4 million guaranteed base salary in 2015, a $7 million option bonus and carries a $14.55 million salary-cap figure.

Flacco's contract is expected to be restructured after the third year of the deal following a payout of $62 million in the first three years of signing.

That's because the Ravens will want to reduce high base salaries and salary-cap figures in 2016 ($18 million salary, $28.55 million cap figure), in 2017 ($20.6 million salary, $31.15 million cap figure) and 2018 ($20 million base salary, $24.75 million salary-cap figure).

It's a much different approach to paying a quarterback.

Flacco broke the bank after being named Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XLVII when he defeated the 49ers.

The Bengals clearly took a more cautious strategy toward their financial commitment to Dalton, who has gone winless in three career playoff starts.

(c)2014 The Baltimore Sun

Visit The Baltimore Sun at www.baltimoresun.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


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