For all the hand-wringing and complaining that went on among Green Bay Packers fans earlier this week when Don Barclay re-signed with the team, it remained unlikely that the reserve offensive lineman would see much - if any - guaranteed money in his new one-year contract.
On Thursday, that assumption was confirmed by Wes Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Wes reports that Barclay received no guaranteed money whatsoever, noting that he will get a $675,000 base salary and a workout bonus of $25,000. There is no signing bonus whatsoever involved in the deal, which makes Barclay's addition make plenty of sense - the Packers will be on the hook for a maximum of 25 grand if they do choose to cut him in or after training camp.
Barclay earns the league minimum for a fourth-year player under this deal, even though this will technically be Barclay's fifth season. However, the distinction is a result of the 2014 season, which he spent entirely on injured reserve. Years spent on injured reserve count as "Accrued Seasons", which determine a player's free agency designations under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. However, they do not count as "Credited Seasons", which are used in calculating minimum salaries, veteran benefits, disability plans, and other long-term benefits.
As a result, Barclay's three credited seasons mean that he is not eligible for the "veteran minimum salary benefit," which would have reduced his salary cap hit down to $600,000. That benefit is only available for players with at least four credited seasons.
The other recent signing is linebacker Lerentee McCray, who is also getting the $675,000 league minimum base for a fourth-year player. However, his deal came with extra money in workout bonuses - totaling $75,000 - and a small signing bonus of $50,000. That brings the total value of his contract up to $800,000. That contract suggests that the front office expects him to make the team quite a bit more so than they do Barclay, but it is still a modest amount of guaranteed money and is easily absorbed if he were to disappoint this summer.
In both of these cases, the Packers added young depth at crucial positions, while protecting themselves from taking a financial hit if either player does not make the team out of training camp.