Eventually, there will be some sort of established consensus on what the contract signed last week by Buffalo Bills quarterback Tarvaris Jackson looks like. Until then, we're left scrambling to try to discern the truth between three different reports.
When the story broke, ESPN's Adam Schefter called the contract a one-year deal worth as much as $4.5 million. Yesterday, WGR 550's Joe Buscaglia refuted that report, claiming it as a one-year deal worth $1.25 million in base salary with an additional $500,000 in signing and roster bonuses - giving it a total value of $1.75 million. That report was then refuted last night by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
Per Florio, "someone" - he does not specify whether this someone works with the Bills, as an agent or with the NFL - "failed to properly record the terms of the deal when the contract was processed." Here are the details of Jackson's contract as Florio reports them:
- Jackson has already been paid a $500,000 signing bonus, which is guaranteed. (Buscaglia had the signing bonus at $450,000, and reported that there was no guaranteed money in the deal.)
- The base salary of the deal is $1.75 million, meaning that with the signing bonus, the total value of the deal is $2.25 million. That's $500,000 more than what Buscaglia reported.
- Jackson can earn another $2.25 million based on the number of snaps he takes in 2013. If he plays 50 percent of snaps, he'll get an additional $500,000. If he plays 60 percent, he'll get another $750,000 on top of that (i.e. $1.25 million). If he plays 65 percent of snaps, he'll earn another $1 million, fetching him the full $2.25 million incentive purse.
Given that Florio reports $2.25 million in base salary and bonuses plus another $2.25 million in incentives, his report much more closely aligns with Schefter's, since the details of Florio's report add up to $4.5 million. Buscaglia's report seems to closely mimic the details of the deal that Florio writes was erroneously recorded. Believe what you will at this point; either way, Jackson was a cheap signing, particularly if he can't win the quarterback job away from Ryan Fitzpatrick.