Sam Shields Contract Structure: Packers Not Front-Loading as Much as Initially Thought?

Harry How

We have some more details about Sam Shields' contract, which indicate that the hit to the salary cap is loaded more on the back end than many Packers' contracts in the recent past.

News broke this evening that the Green Bay Packers and cornerback Sam Shields have agreed to a four-year, $39 million contract which makes Shields one of the highest-paid corners in the NFL. We are starting to gradually learn more about the details and structure of this deal, and we can now piece together the approximate cap hits for each year of the contract.

Much of that is thanks to this report from NFL.com's Albert Breer, which breaks down the mony

Keep in mind here, this is the total actual money Shields is scheduled to get here, not the cumulative cap hit. In 2014, Shields gets $12.5 million in his signing bonus, plus an extra $2.5 million in other compensation (either base salary or bonuses). The signing bonus gets deferred over the length of the contract, contributing $3.125 million each year. Therefore, breaking Breer's information out in more detail, we expect the contract to be structured something like this:

Year Base Salary/Other Bonuses Signing Bonus Deferral Total Cap Hit
2014 $2.5 M $3.125 M $5.625 M
2015 $6 M $3.125 M $9.125 M
2016 $9 M $3.125 M $12.125 M
2017 $9 M $3.125 M $12.125 M

This contract looks ripe for a restructuring or release after the 2015 or (more likely) the 2016 season, but in any case, it is not a case of the Packers front-loading contracts as much as they have with several other contracts in the past (such as those of Aaron Rodgers or Clay Matthews).

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