Technically, the Denver Broncos signed offensive tackle and self-representing agent Russell Okung to a five-year deal worth $53 million, but if you go even a little bit below the surface it's clear the deal is rotten for player and perfect for team. We're talking the kind of contract that every player would sign in a dystopian future NFL where player unions didn't exist and all players elected to represent themselves in contract negotiations.
With information obtained by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, it's clear this contract is heavy on the theoretical money and very, very light on the actual money. It was already reported that the contract contained an out for the Broncos if things didn't work out after a single season, but it was suggested that there was guaranteed money available at various points of the deal.
Uh, well that's not true. The deal actually includes zero dollars in guaranteed money, and also includes an out for the Broncos before the season even gets underway.
Per PFT, Okung has a $1 million workout bonus, a $2 million base salary and a $2 million roster bonus for being on the 53-man roster for any single game. With nothing guaranteed, the Broncos can release Okung prior to Week 1 without paying him the other $4 million.
But it gets even worse (again, for Okung; the Broncos are still laughing about this in a dark office somewhere) -- Okung has to participate in at least 90 percent of the offseason workouts and be on the roster when the program ends to get the $1 million workout bonus.
After the 2016 season, the Broncos have to make a decision on whether to exercise a contract option for 2017. That option kicks in guarantees of $19.5 million over the following two seasons but again, if they release him prior to the first day of the 2017 league year, then they eliminate all of that money. There are non-guaranteed base salaries of $8.5 million and $9 million in 2019 and 2020 as well.
Okung could theoretically participate in 89 percent of the team's offseason workout program, suffer a setback with one of his multiple career injuries and be released with nothing to show for it. This is a ridiculously team-friendly deal and it's not likely we'll see other players looking at it as a reason to jump into the "be your own agent" pool anytime soon.
Okung's contract and his decision to represent himself was a hot topic on this week's podcast too (starts around the 14:44 mark).