Inside the Davante Adams three-year, $67.5 million deal (as a practical matter)

NFL: JAN 09 Packers at Lions

Getty Images

The numbers are in on the Davante Adams deal. And, as usual, the initial reports were subject to a little agent-fueled puffery.

For starters, it’s not a five-year, $141.25 million deal. The base amount is $140 million. To get to the maximum value, he needs to get to the Pro Bowl for each of the next five years.

Also, despite that the deal country out $67.5 million fully guaranteed at signing, it doesn’t. Per a source with knowledge of the transaction, the full guarantee at signing is only $22.75 million.

By early 2023, another $42.92 million in injury guarantees becomes fully guaranteed. To avoid owing Adams that amount, the Raiders would have to cut Adams after only one year, paying him $23.36 million (if he satisfies the workout and per-game roster bonuses) for 2022 — and giving up a first-round and second-round pick. This makes the practical guarantee $65.67 million at signing. But that amount isn’t fully guaranteed.

The structure of the deal may not have been dramatically different than the not-too-little-but-definitely-too-late offer the Packers made. Green Bay doesn’t fully guarantee money beyond the first year of the deal. The Adams deal does not fully guarantee money beyond the first year of the deal.

That said, the deal fully guarantees years two and three as of year two. Green Bay possibly would have insisted on a year-to-year rolling guarantee.

Here’s the full breakdown of the Adams deal.

1. Signing bonus: $19.25 million.

2. 2022 base salary: $3.5 million, fully guaranteed.

3. 2023 bonus roster: $20 million, guaranteed for injury at signing and fully guaranteed in 2023.

4. 2023 base salary: $6.03 million, guaranteed for injury at signing and fully guaranteed in 2023.

5. 2024 base salary: $16.89 million, guaranteed for injury at signing and fully guaranteed in 2023.

6. 2025 base salary: $35.64 million.

7. 2026 base salary: $35.65 million.

8. 2022-26 per-game bonus roster: $500,000 annually.

9. 2022-26 workout bonus: $100,000 annually.

10. 2022-26 incentives: $250,000 for making it to the Pro Bowl, annually.

In reality, it’s a three-year, $67.5 million contract. The final two seasons pay out a whopping $72.5 million that Adams may never see, given that he’ll be 32 when the final two years kick in.

So it’s fair to call it a three-year, $67.5 million deal. It has a real average of $22.5 million. The fluff in 2025 and 2026 push it to $28 million per year. Again, the chances of Adams getting paid $36.25 million at age 32 and 33 are slim, unless he plays incredibly well and the salary cap and the receiver market mushrooms.

Did the Packers offer the exact same deal, both as to money and structure? Even if they did, remember this. There’s no state income tax in Nevada. In Wisconsin, 7.65 cents of every dollar go the state government.

Leave a Comment