Less than a year ago, B.J. Raji and agent David Dunn turned down a deal that reportedly would have paid the defensive lineman an average of $8 million annually. Today, we're reminded yet again how ruinous that decision turned out to be.
According to multiple media outlets, only $500,000 of Raji's one-year, $4 million contract is guaranteed signing bonus. While that figure is high enough to ensure Raji a spot on the final 53-man roster, it's a precipitous drop from what surely would have been multiple millions of guaranteed dollars in the deal rejected last offseason. At a minimum, Raji's new contract contains over $17 million less in guaranteed money than his rookie contract.
The contract also contains $300,000 in roster bonuses paid out in $18,750 increments for each game Raji is active. He'll also earn $100,000 in a workout bonus. The remaining $3.1 million is standard base salary.
All of which is to say that if there was ever a financial incentive to motivate Raji towards a big year, this is it. If he fails to deliver for the second consecutive contract year, he'll spend the remainder of his NFL career going year to year rather than landing the long-term deal he desires.