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Marcell Dareus contract details: Buffalo Bills win here, too

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The Buffalo Bills are going to pay Marcell Dareus an awful lot of money over the next seven years - but they emerge winners in this contract extension, as well, thanks to how the deal was structured.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

With the ink now dry on Marcell Dareus' mega-deal with the Buffalo Bills, and with the full details reported by ESPN, let's take a look at the yearly breakdown of Dareus' large, but very reasonable, contract extension.

The base value of Dareus' contract is seven years for $104.16 million, with the new money calculation for the extension (i.e. subtracting the remaining value, $8.06 million, and years remaining, one, on the old contract) being $96.1 million over six years. Over the next seven years, Dareus will earn $14.88 million per year, or $16.02 million under the new money calculation. These averages put Dareus ahead of Gerald McCoy, but behind J.J. Watt and well behind Ndamukong Suh, in the pecking order of highest-paid defensive linemen.

Dareus also has the ability to earn an extra $5.25 million through yearly salary escalators - $250,000 for each year he has made first team All-Pro. That $250,000 figure appears to be cumulative, so for example, if Dareus is an All-Pro in 2015 and 2016, his 2017 salary would increase by $500,000.

The first thing that jumped out from the contract is the amount of front-loaded money built into it, specifically $43.15 million that Dareus will receive over the next two seasons. In 2015, Dareus will receive more than half of this sum via a $25 million signing bonus (happy dance) and a $3 million salary. In 2016, Dareus will receive $15.15 million.

In a deal of this magnitude for the rare player of Dareus' ability and age, guaranteed money can be overstated in importance. Especially so, when it is reported that the guarantees for a given year can void if Dareus is suspended that year. Technically, Dareus received a fully-guaranteed $42.9 million upon signing, with another $17.1 million presently guaranteed for injury only, reaching the reported number of $60 million guaranteed. Looking at the contract practically, the 2018 season - the year in which all of the guaranteed money will finally extinguish - will be Dareus' age-28 season. That's how old Suh was when he signed with Miami this spring. For a player who has dealt with nicks, but whose only full missed game in four seasons was the meaningless season finale against New England last year, something truly unforeseeable would have to occur for guaranteed versus non-guaranteed money to affect this contract playing out.

Again, based on reporting by ESPN, let's look at the yearly breakdowns by cash pay and cap hit.

2015 cash payouts: $28 million

  • $25 million signing bonus
  • $3 million guaranteed base salary

2015 cap hit: $8 million (down from $8.06 million)

  • $5 million prorated signing bonus
  • $3 million guaranteed base salary
  • Dead money: $42.9 million

2016 cash payouts: $15.15 million

  • $7 million guaranteed option bonus
  • $7.9 million fully guaranteed base salary
  • $250,000 workout bonus

2016 cap hit: $14.55 million

  • $5 million prorated signing bonus
  • $1.4 million prorated option bonus
  • $7.9 million base salary
  • $250,000 workout bonus
  • Dead money: $34.9 million

2017 cash payouts: $10 million

  • $9.75 million base salary guaranteed for injury only (fully guaranteed on third day of 2016 league year)
  • $250,000 workout bonus

2017 cap hit: $16.4 million

  • $5 million prorated signing bonus
  • $1.4 million prorated option bonus
  • $9.75 million base salary
  • $250,000 workout bonus
  • Dead money: $20.6 million

2018 cash payout: $10.18 million

  • $9.93 million base salary ($7.35 million guaranteed for injury only - $5M in 2016, $2.35M in 2017)
  • $250,000 workout bonus

2018 cap hit: $16.58 million

  • $5 million prorated signing bonus
  • $1.4 million prorated option bonus
  • $9.93 million base salary
  • $250,000 workout bonus
  • Dead money: $14.2 million

2019 cash payout: $11.59 million

  • $9.34 million base salary
  • $2 million roster bonus (due on third day of 2019 league year
  • $250,000 workout bonus

2019 cap hit: $17.99 million

  • $5 million prorated signing bonus
  • $1.4 million prorated option bonus
  • $9.34 million base salary
  • $2 million roster bonus
  • $250,000 workout bonus
  • Dead money: $7.8 million

2020 cash payout: $14.6 million

  • $12.35 million base salary
  • $2 million roster bonus (due on third day of 2020 league year
  • $250,000 workout bonus

2020 cap hit: $16 million

  • $1.4 million prorated option bonus
  • $12.35 million base salary
  • $2 million roster bonus
  • $250,000 workout bonus
  • Dead money: $1.4 million

2021 cash payout: $14.65 million

  • $12.4 million base salary
  • $2 million roster bonus (paid out on third day of 2021 league year
  • $250,000 workout bonus

2021 cap hit: $14.65 million

  • $12.4 million base salary
  • $2 million roster bonus
  • $250,000 workout bonus

The cap hits are highest in the middle years of the deal, when the base salaries have risen and both bonus prorations are still on the cap. With lower cap and cash numbers at the end of the deal, it is possible that the Bills, with a player who will only be 29 years old in 2019 when the cap hit is almost $18 million, could restructure money into a new prorated signing bonus or negotiate a whole new extension.

Overall, this is a very good deal for both sides. Dareus receives the financial security that he deserves, and the Bills retain their best (and one of the league's best) players throughout the prime of his career.