When Matt Cassel signed with the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason, Dominic Perilli noticed that Cassel, a college backup to USC starting quarterback, Matt Leinart, will make more money on this contract than Leinart will make on his current contract, which has a length of one year more than Cassel’s contract. To be fair to Leinart, he is still working on his rookie contract. But then again, with the work that Leinart has done since entering the league, I am not sure that I want to see the structure of Leinart’s second deal (to be seen in the future).
Cassel’s 5-year deal for $63 million with $27.75 million guaranteed looks great on paper, but those numbers don’t do justice to the actual contract that was signed between Cassel and the Chiefs. J.I. Halsell wants you to start looking at metrics other than potential total value of contracts and guaranteed money. Here are a few:
- Average Per Year (APY) – Take the total value of the contract and divide that number by the term of the agreement. If it is a contract renegotiation or extension, subtract the money still to be earned on the former contract and divide by the term on the new contract (new years).
- 3-Year Total (3YT) – The total amount of money that a player will receive if his contract is terminated 3-years into the term of the agreement. As an agent, you want the contract to be front-loaded (a high 3-year total), because a lot of players never make it through the term of their agreements. You can also re-negotiate the deal after three years if the player is performing at a high level and is due to make a small amount thereafter. You then have the leverage!
- Guarantee Per Year (GPY) – Take the guaranteed money and divide it by the term of the agreement.
Cassel’s APY = $10.5 million, 3YT = $30.5 million, and GPY = $4.625 million. As Halsell points out, amongst his peers of small track record, NFL starting quarterbacks (Romo, Rodgers, Anderson), Cassel did very well for himself.