Last week, Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick signed a six-year, $59 million contract extension with $24 million guaranteed. Thanks to some good reporting from Andrew Brandt at the National Football Post, we now have better details of Fitzpatrick's mega-deal. Let's take a look:
- The six-year extension tacks onto the expiration of his current deal. Therefore, Fitzpatrick is under contract at his original base salary ($3.22 million) for the remainder of 2011, and then the six-year deal kicks in, locking him up through the end of the 2017 season.
- Fitzpatrick will receive (or, possibly, has already received) a $10 million signing bonus. He'll also get a $5 million option bonus in March. That's $15 million of his $24 million guaranteed right there, and he'll get it within the next few months. The remaining $9 million in guarantees are only due to Fitzpatrick if he's on the roster but injured, per Brandt; that implies that if the Bills release him, there won't be anything else guaranteed to him. That's obviously huge.
- The new deal will pay Fitzpatrick $33 million over the first three years of the deal (2012 through 2014), and then will pay him the remaining $26 million over the final three years of the deal (2015 through 2017). This gives the Bills a little leeway if they're ready to move on from Fitzpatrick in the latter half of the deal, especially with the aforementioned lack of off-roster guarantees.
I'm with Brandt: this deal works well for both sides. Fitzpatrick is in line to make fat stacks (yeah, I watch a lot of Breaking Bad), but the Bills have a ton of flexibility to opt out of the deal after a few years.