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2021 NFL Free Agency Contract Details: Incentives built in for Buffalo Bills QB Mitchell Trubisky

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Buffalo Bills upgraded at backup quarterback this offseason, letting Matt Barkley hit free agency and signing former top-two pick Mitchell Trubisky. Barkley had been on a two-year, $4 million contract for a $2 million average annual value and the Bills will be paying slightly more than that for Trubisky.

Initially reported as a simple one-year, $2.5 million contract, we now have the full breakdown and there are incentives in the deal that could push it to $4.5 million. If he plays, and we hope he won’t, he’ll stay at $2.5 million but if he does get into the game and plays well, he will be compensated at a higher level.

For starters, he gets a $500,000 signing bonus and $1.5 million of his $2 million salary is guaranteed. That was first reported by Field Yates of ESPN.

Later, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle listed out the incentives that are available, though he didn’t add what the benchmarks were. He has incentives built in for playing time, passer rating, completion percentage, touchdowns, and a playoff incentive. It’s likely that all of the other incentives are contingent on the first. For example, if he plays 40 percent of the team’s offensive snaps and the Bills make the playoffs, he’ll earn the incentive.

For whatever reason, none of those incentives are considered Likely To Be Earned and will not count against Buffalo’s cap in 2021.

Here is the breakdown:

Signing bonus: $500,000
Base salary: $2 million ($1.5 million guaranteed)
Incentives: $2 million (playing time, passing statistics, playoffs)

Cap number: $2.5 million