The purpose of this blog is to not to scare Patriots fans that Jacoby Brissett will miss any training camp practice time because he has not signed his rookie deal but rather to explain what is now negotiated in rookie deals. With the new CBA draft picks are now slotted so there is very little wiggle room about the signing bonus and total size of the rookie deal. For example, since we know the amount of the Patriots rookie pool – $5,094,472 and know how much has been already been allocated – $4,474,321 we know that Brissett’s 2016 cap number will very likely be $620,151.
Background: A credited season determines the minimum salary of a player with X numbers of credited seasons. A player needs 3 games to get credit for a credited season. Games on IR do NOT count in the credited season calculation.
Updated on May 22 with a note from Mike Reiss – On May 22 ESPN’s Mike Reiss shared this rookie pool tidbit – “Why so many third-rounders who have yet to sign? One NFL salary cap man relayed that third-round negotiations have proven to be more challenging than other rounds in recent years. The reason is that first- and second-round picks can receive a maximum of 25 percent allocation of a team’s rookie salary cap, but because the third round doesn’t max out at 25 percent, there is often debate over what the correct percentage should be”
The following items are now what are typically negotiated.
1.) Salary Guarantee – How much of a player’s salary is fully guaranteed. It ranges from 100% for all 4 years for the top picks in the draft to 0% for players drafted in the 3rd round or lower. Very doubtful that this will become a negotiating item as Joe Thuney was drafted 13 slots higher did not have any of his salaries guaranteed. Sean Mannion, a quarterback who was drafted 89th in the 2015 draft did not have any of his salaries guaranteed. For players drafted late in the 2nd round their first year salary is usually fully guaranteed and some part of their second year’s salary is fully guaranteed.
2.) Guarantee Offset – With offset language, a team that cuts a player with remaining guaranteed salary will receives a dollar for dollar credit on their following year’s adjusted cap if/when he lands with a new team. With no offset language, the player gets to double dip, keeping the money he gets under his rookie contract from the team that drafted while pocketing whatever he makes from his new team. Very doubtful that this will become a negotiating item as it is not likely that Jacoby Brissett will get any guaranteed salaries in his deal.
3.) Split Salary – Often lower-round draft picks, undrafted free agents (UDFAs) and players with an injury history often sign deals that will lower their salary if placed on Injury Reserve. The minimum salary for 2016 rookies is $450,000. The split salary amount for 2016 rookies is $333,000. The minimum salary for a player with one credited season in 2017 will be $540,000. The split salary amount in 2017 for a player with one credited season is $363,000. As you can see, a 2016 draft who has the split salary provision in their contract will receive $112,000 (more than a third) less if placed on IR before Week 1. Teams and draft picks also negotiate over when the split-season salary provision becomes effective. Some deals have the split-salary provision kick in only if the players is placed on IR during the preseason and does not apply if the player goes on IR during the regular season. The range for the split salary provisions goes from typically none for the players drafted in the first two rounds to typically having one for the first two years of the rookie deal for the players drafted in the 6th and the 7th rounds. For 3rd round picks the split-salary provision is for the entire first year of the rookie deal. Joe Thuney and Vincent Valentine have the split-salary provision for the 2016 season. Doubtful that this will become a negotiating item as the Patriots will insist on Jacoby Brissett having the split-salary provision.
4.) Credited Season – Often lower-round draft picks, undrafted free agents (UDFAs) and players with an injury history often sign deals that will lower their salary if placed on Injury Reserve and that will lower their 2017 season from $540,000 to $465,000 (minimum salary for 2017 rookies). While Joe Thuney and Vincent Valentine have the split-salary provision for the 2016 season their 2017 salaries will not be affected if they are placed on Injured Reserve during the 2016 season. Very doubtful that this will become a negotiating item as this credited season issue since Cyrus Jones, Thuney and Valentine do not have this credited season provision in their deals. Please note that Malcolm Mitchell, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Elandon Roberts, Ted Karras, and Devin Lucien all have this provision in their deals.
5.) Other Compensation – Rookies’ cash intake are allowed to increase by 25% of their first-year cap number. Example – Cyrus Jones’ 2016 cap number is $728,492. 25% of $728,492 equals $182,123. His 2017 salary is $450,000 + $182,123 = $632,123. Cyrus Jones’ 2018 salary is $632,123 plus $182,123 equals $814,246. Cyrus Jones’ 2019 salary is $814,246 plus $182,123 equals $996,369. First and second round picks usually have the 25% rule applied to their deals while lower-round picks (4th, 5th, 6th and 7th) for the Patriots do not have the opportunity to earn more cash than the minimum salaries. Joe Thuney has the opportunity to earn $100,000 in extra cash with offseason workout bonuses in 2017 ($35K), 2018 ($35K) and 2019 ($30K). Vincent Valentine has the opportunity to earn $45,000 in extra cash with offseason workout bonuses in 2017, 2018 and 2019 ($15K each year). It is very likely that this is what is holding up Jacoby Brissett’s negotiations. Added on May 22nd – Let’s safely presume that Brissett’s 2016 cap number will be $620,151. 25% of $620,151 = $155,038. His 2017 cash intake can be as much as $540,000 + $155,038 or $695,038. His minimum 2017 cash intake is $540,000. His 2018 cash intake can be as much as $695,038 + $155,038 or $850,076. His minimum 2018 cash intake is $630,000. His 2019 cash intake can be as much as $850,076 + $155,038 or $1,005,114. His minimum 2019 cash intake is $720,000. With Jimmy Garoppolo the Patriots set a precedent of having their rookie quarterbacks earn offseason workout bonuses. Jimmy Garoppolo can earn $50,000 in 2016 and $65,000. So I expect that the Patriots will want Jacoby Brissett to earn some extra cash by participating in offseason workout bonuses. The negotiation is probably over the amount. Six of 7 quarterbacks drafted in the 3rd round received the maximum amount of extra compensation. I currently project the amount to be between $60,000 total ($20,000 each year for the 2017/2018/2019 seasons) Updated on May 27th – and $660,228 total ($155,038 in 2017, $220,076 in 2018, and $285,114 in 2019). The former amount keeps Brissett’s cash intake above Valentine while the latter gives Brissett 100% of extra compensation.I fully expect this deal to be consummated before the start of the training camp.
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