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Brandon Marshall Is Highly Paid, But Maybe Not Highest Paid WR

Did you know that there is a clause in Brandon Marshall‘s contract that says he will earn a $2.7 million roster bonus in 2014 if he participates in 95%+ of Miami Dolphins Special Teams plays in 2010?  As of right now, I would say that there is a 0.00001% chance that Marshall actually benefits from this incentive clause.  So why would something like this be put into a contract?  To make Ken McGuire of MS World look good.  That’s the only reason I can think of.

The Richmond, Texas based agent must be thrilled that Brandon Marshall was traded and that he was able to negotiate a new contract for his client.  He’s probably not happy that Marshall is in shark infested waters (a.k.a. Drew Rosenhaus’ backyard), but he will live with it for now.  Anyway, MS World characterizes the deal as a 4-year, $47.5 million contract extension, which includes $24 million guaranteed.  The company’s website claims that Marshall is now the highest-paid receiver in NFL history.  Mike Florio of disagrees.

He says that the contract is worth $47.3 million over 5 years and that we should completely disregard the phony Special Teams clause.  He also isn’t too fond of the idea that,

If the Dolphins decide before April 2, 2011 that Marshall isn’t who they thought he was, they can walk away, possibly without paying Marshall another penny.  Prior to April 2, 2011, he has only $3 million in future guaranteed money that already has been unlocked.  But the contract contains offset language; if they cut him and someone else pays him $3 million in 2011, the Dolphins are off the hook for the balance of the contract.

While Marshall signed a great deal and McGuire probably did some excellent negotiating with the Dolphins, it is important to look at the beef of the contract instead of merely the “overall figure” that is thrown at you immediately by the major press entities.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

2 replies on “Brandon Marshall Is Highly Paid, But Maybe Not Highest Paid WR”

ha, I was listening to sports radio this morning and that is exactly what they said about why that incentive is in there. how often do you think agents negotiate incentive clauses like this one in the contract when they know that there is almost no possiblity that it will occur?

It makes the agent look good because what is usually reported is the “total amount” of the contract. I assume that agents try to cover it up a little better though.

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