If you followed Pro Football Talk on Friday, you learned that Andre Johnson’s contract contained a lot of “fluff”. What does that really mean? Lets turn it over to Jason La Canfora, who has a league source who has actually seen the contract:
Johnson will make $10 million in 2010 — his previous base salary was $5.8 million — with $2.8 million coming as a signing bonus. Johnson is also guaranteed $13 million as part of the deal.
The new thresholds are predicated on Johnson placing in the top five or top 10 in one of the four major receiving categories — receptions, receiving yards, touchdowns and average per catch — each season. There are three tiers to the contract. If Johnson hits none of the new thresholds, he would earn $62.7 million over seven years ($8.9 million per year). If he hits the top-10 tier he would earn $68.5 million over seven years ($9.7 million average), and if he hits the top-5 tier the then the max is $73.5 million ($10.5 million per year).
So essentially, the Texans have protected themselves while also rewarding Johnson. If Johnson fails to continue being top of the line at any time, the value of the contract could decrease significantly. The last two years that the Texans added on to the end are non-guaranteed, so it’s less of an extension and more of a reward.
This is a good deal for both sides, and one that makes sense given how little leverage Johnson really had with five years left on his deal. He’ll make the majority of that new money on workout and performance-based incentives, while getting a little signing bonus for himself now.
It also means that if Johnson is to be the highest paid receiver in football, he better continue being the best receiver in football.