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A thorough breakdown of LeSean McCoy's $40 million contract

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LeSean McCoy is now happy to be a Buffalo Bill. The new contract he signed yesterday may have something to do with that. Let's break it down in detail.

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Yesterday, LeSean McCoy reportedly agreed to a new five-year, $40 million contract with the Buffalo Bills. Based on a detailed report by Mike Florio, we can really dive into the nitty gritty of the deal as it pertains not just to 2015, but future Bills seasons.

Although the extension expands upon his existing contract, McCoy's new deal is truly a two-year extension - so in breaking it down, we will look at it by payment type, by values (in terms of the old money versus the new, and also guaranteed money), in terms of what it will cost the Bills in terms of the salary cap (also with the old money versus the new money broken down), and lastly by what it could cost the Bills under this new contract if McCoy is eventually cut.

Contract by payment type

  • SIGNING BONUS: $13.125 million. This is a very large number, and will allow McCoy to earn the most in 2015 of any running back in the league. This number will also be prorated to $2.625 per year for salary cap calculating purposes.
  • BASE SALARIES: $25.675 million. Over five years, these salaries are actually very reasonable, averaging just over $5 million per year. Unlike many NFL contracts, the salaries stay relatively consistent throughout the contract, instead of spiking up in the later years.
  • WORKOUT BONUSES: $1.25 million. As was the case under his old contract, McCoy will receive $250,000 per season to attend offseason "voluntary" workouts.

Contract by base salary & guaranteed values

Let's now break down the structure of the deal, again remembering that McCoy was already on the books for three years and $25.25 million.

  • CONTRACT VALUE: $40.05 million over five years, (previously $25.25 million over three years). In exchange for granting the Bills control over two more years of his services, McCoy will receive $14.8 million. In the first three years of the deal, McCoy will now make $27.3 million instead of $25.25 million.

$25.675 million (base salaries) +
$13.125 million (signing bonus) +
$1.25 million (workout bonuses)
---------------------------------------------
$40.05 million

  • FULL GUARANTEES: $18.25 million.

$13.125 million (signing bonus) +
$2.625 million (2015 salary) +
$2.5 million (2016 salary)
--------------------------------------------
$18.25 million

  • UNDEFINED GUARANTEES: $8.3 million. The remaining $2.3 million (out of $4.8 million) in McCoy's 2016 contract will become guaranteed on the first day of the 2016 league year (a year from tomorrow). Additionally, all of the reports leaking out so far have included an additional $6 million in guaranteed money (totaling $26.55 million) without specifying its source. As McCoy's 2017 salary is $6 million, if these reports are true, my guess would be that a portion or all of that salary will become guaranteed either at some point during the 2016 league year, or at the start of the 2017 year.
  • TOTAL POTENTIAL GUARANTEES: $26.55 million: This is calculated by adding together the full guaranteed money, as well as the undefined money above.
  • TOTAL CONTRACT VALUE: five years, $40.05 million, $18.25 million fully guaranteed, with an additional $8.3 million becoming guaranteed at a later date.

Contract by yearly earning potential

Here is what McCoy will make on a year-by-year basis during his new extension.

  • PAID IMMEDIATELY: $13.125 million. Once the trade and subsequent contract become official, McCoy will get his signing bonus.
  • 2015: $2.875 million. McCoy will receive a salary of $2.625 million and yearly bonus of $250,000. His old contract would have paid him $10.25 million in salary and bonuses.
  • 2016: $5.05 million. McCoy will receive a salary of $4.8 million and yearly bonus of $250,000. His old contract would have paid him $7.15 million in salary and bonuses.
  • 2017: $6.25 million. McCoy will receive a salary of $6 million and yearly bonus of $250,000. His old contract would have paid him $7.85 million in salary and bonuses.
  • 2018: $6.325 million. McCoy will receive a salary of $6.075 million and yearly bonus of $250,000.
  • 2019: $6.425 million. McCoy will receive a salary of $6.175 million and yearly bonus of $250,000.

Contract by yearly salary cap hit

Under Kim and Terry Pegula, the Bills seem poised and willing to spend to the cap. Here is what McCoy's cap charges will be under his new contract, juxtaposed with what they would have been on the old deal.

  • 2015: $5.5 million ($10.25 million). McCoy's $13.125 million signing bonus will be prorated over the five years of the contract, creating $2.625 million per year in a cap charge. That number, plus his $2.875 in salary, totals $5.5 million. Correspondingly, the Bills saved $4.75 million on their 2015 salary cap.
  • 2016: $7.675 million ($7.15 million).
  • 2017: $8.875 million ($7.85 million).
  • 2018: $8.95 million.
  • 2019: $9.05 million.

Contract by yearly potential accelerated dead money

By granting McCoy such a large signing bonus, the Bills lowered their current cap charge and obviously made McCoy very happy; where this move could have negative repercussions would be down the road if McCoy's contract is terminated. (For each of these cuts, I am assuming the Bills would designate McCoy a post-June 1 cut, pushing the dead money hit to the following season).

  • 2016: $7.875 million. If the Bills cut McCoy in 2016, three years' worth of $2.625 million prorated signing bonus will fall on their 2017 cap as dead money.
  • 2017: $5.25 million. Same as above, but the money would now fall on 2018.
  • 2018: $2.625 million. If McCoy breaks down after three seasons and the Bills cut him rather than paying him $6.325 million in 2018 salary, they will be forced to take on $2.625 million in dead money on their 2019 salary cap.
  • 2019: $0