A Thorough Breakdown Of Mario Williams' $100 Million Contract

Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

Buffalo Rumblings breaks down the reported intricacies of Mario Williams' $100 million deal with the Buffalo Bills. The short version: he is going to be a very rich dude.

With the help of Mike Florio (Pro Football Talk) and Mark Gaughan (The Buffalo News), we finally have a good idea of the Buffalo Bills' financial situation following Thursday's signing of defensive end Mario Williams. A thorough breakdown of the deal and its aftermath lies after the jump.

We'll look at Williams' contract three different ways based on Florio's reporting: by payment type, by values (which is where we'll discuss guarantees), and on a year-by-year earning potential basis.

CONTRACT BY PAYMENT TYPE

  • SIGNING BONUS: $19 million. Williams got a massive signing bonus - worth more than the total of Ryan Fitzpatrick's and Stevie Johnson's combined - just for signing on the dotted line.
  • BASE SALARIES: $49.3 million. That's a sum of the base salaries Williams is scheduled to make over the full six years of the deal. His base salary in 2012 is fully guaranteed, and his 2013 base salary will become fully guaranteed on the second day of the 2013 league year. Currently, it is guaranteed for injury.
  • ROSTER BONUSES: $17.6 million. Williams is scheduled to be paid roster bonuses at the beginning of each league year from 2014-2017, or the final four years of the six-year deal. The 2014 roster bonus is guaranteed for injury.
  • OPTION BONUS: $8 million. Williams will be paid an $8 million option bonus in 2013. This bonus is guaranteed, but it is unclear if it is fully guaranteed or guaranteed for injury. In the end, it won't matter, because barring something catastrophic, Williams will be paid this bonus either way.
  • WORKOUT BONUSES: $2.1 million. Williams is scheduled to earn a workout bonus in each of the first five years of the deal. There is no workout bonus scheduled for 2017, the final year of the deal.
  • CONTRACT ESCALATORS: $4 million. These payments are not scheduled, and thus are not part of the base value of the deal. Williams can earn these incentives along the way, adding to the total value of the deal. Half of this money can be earned if Williams makes the Pro Bowl in each of the next six seasons. There are no escalators to be earned in 2017, the final year of the deal.

CONTRACT BY BASE AND GUARANTEED VALUES

Now, let's work with those figures above to figure out the structure of the deal.

  • BASE VALUE: $96 million. This is calculated by adding together all scheduled payments. See the breakdown below.

$49.3 million (base salaries) +
$19 million (signing bonus) +
$17.6 million (roster bonuses) +
$8 million (option bonus) +
$2.1 million (workout bonuses)
--------------------------------------------
$96 million

  • TOTAL VALUE: $100 million. This is calculated by adding the $4 million in contract escalators to the aforementioned base value of the deal.
  • FULL GUARANTEES: $24.9 million. That figure is current. See the breakdown below.

$19 million (signing bonus) +
$5.9 million (first-year base salary)
-----------------------------------------------
$24.9 million

  • INJURY GUARANTEES: $17.1 million. That figure is current. Note that the 2013 base salary is only currently guaranteed for injury; it becomes fully guaranteed on the second day of the 2013 league year. See the breakdown below.

$6.5 million (2013 base salary) +
$10.6 million (2014 roster bonus)
---------------------------------------------
$17.1 million

  • UNDEFINED GUARANTEE: $8 million. This is the option bonus that will be paid to Williams in the 2013 league year. Again, it is not known if this guarantee is in full or for injury, but as it's extraordinarily unlikely that Williams won't be on the team in 2013, it hardly matters.
  • TOTAL GUARANTEES: $50 million. This is calculated by adding together full, injury and undefined guarantees as laid out above.
  • Total value of the deal: six years, $100 million ($96 million base value, $4 million in incentives), $50 million guaranteed.

CONTRACT BY YEARLY EARNING POTENTIAL

Finally, let's take a look at the six-year deal, year by year, to figure out Williams' earning potential.

  • MONEY ALREADY MADE: $19 million. This is the signing bonus.
  • 2012: $6.8 million. Here is what Williams can earn in the first year of the deal:

$5.9 million base salary (fully guaranteed)
$100,000 workout bonus
$400,000 Pro Bowl escalator
$400,000 in additional, undefined escalators

  • 2013: $15.8 million. Here is what Williams can earn in the second year of the deal:

$6.5 million base salary
$8 million option bonus (undefined guarantee)
$500,000 workout bonus
$400,000 Pro Bowl escalator
$400,000 in additional, undefined escalators

  • 2014: $13.8 million. Florio wisely points out that this is a critical point in the deal. It is uniquely structured to get the Bills out of the remainder of the deal in the (hopefully unlikely) event that things aren't working out. This is why the base salary is so low, and the roster bonus so high: if the Bills were to cut Williams prior to the 2014 season, they would still be on the hook for the salary, but not for the bonus and other scheduled payments. Williams and his agent could comfortably agree to this not just because it's unlikely that things won't work out, but ideally Williams will have already earned $41.6 million in two years. Here is what Williams can earn in the third year of the deal:

$1.9 million base salary
$10.6 million roster bonus (guaranteed for injury)
$500,000 workout bonus
$400,000 Pro Bowl escalator
$400,000 in additional, undefined escalators

  • 2015: $14.4 million. Here is what Williams can earn in the fourth year of the deal:

$12.1 million base salary
$1 million roster bonus
$500,000 workout bonus
$400,000 Pro Bowl escalator
$400,000 in additional, undefined escalators

  • 2016: $15.3 million. Here is what Williams can earn in the fifth year of the deal:

$11.5 million base salary
$2.5 million roster bonus
$500,000 workout bonus
$400,000 Pro Bowl escalator
$400,000 in additional, undefined escalators

  • 2017: $14.9 million. Here is what Williams can earn in the sixth and final year of the deal:

$11.4 million base salary
$3.5 million roster bonus

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