The Green Bay Packers released LB A.J. Hawk last week because he was scheduled to receive a guaranteed salary of over $10 million in 2011. And after he was quickly re-signed, he's now scheduled to receive a guaranteed salary of almost $11 million in 2011. What a savings!
I'm joking of course. The whole release-and-re-sign event was to give him a more cap friendly contract. The $11 million will be spread out over the life of the five-year contract he signed. But he did give up some future money. He could have forced them to keep him on his rookie contract. Then when it expired, he could have probably gotten another $10 million up front in his next contract.
A lot of that could depend on the next collective bargaining agreement. But he certainly would have received a large amount guaranteed either way. There's no need to worry because he's scheduled to make between $5 million and $6.5 million annually from 2012 through 2015. But he did give up some future money to get his long-term contract now.