Like all NFL contracts, the four year, $28 million extension free safety Darian Stewart received from the Denver Broncos is not quite what it seems.
In one way it’s better: Stewart basically got one more fully guaranteed year for a whopping $13 million. And it’s all but certain he will make $17.5 million through the next two seasons.
According to contract details obtained by 9News, Stewart got a $7 million signing bonus, half of which he’s already received, the other half to be paid on March 15.
Stewart’s $2.5 million salary for 2016 – which he’s collected all but five weeks’ worth -- also remains intact.
He also received a $6 million base salary next year that is fully guaranteed. That’s it for the full guarantee, although $13 million is a substantial upfront payout relative to NFL contracts prior to the collective bargaining agreement in 2011.
Stewart also has a $4.5 million salary in 2018 that is guaranteed against injury only. Providing his skills don’t drastically deteriorate, that $4.5 million salary converts to a full guarantee on the fifth day of the league year, or around mid-March, 2018.
Here’s the detailed breakdown of Stewart’s four-year extension:
2017: $7 million signing bonus ($3.5 million paid on Monday), $6 million salary. Total: $13 million fully guaranteed.
2018: $4.5 million salary, guaranteed against injury only, converted to full guarantee on fifth day of league year. Total: $4.5 million with partial guarantee.
2019: $4.75 million salary, plus $15,625 in per game bonuses ($250,000 if he plays in 16 games). None of this money has any form of guarantee. Total: $5 million, no guarantees.
2020: $4.75 million salary option. Team has between the end of the 2019 season Super Bowl (Feb. 3, 2020) and first day of 2020 league year (roughly March 11, 2020) to exercise the option. If option is exercised, $1 million of the $4.75 million becomes fully guaranteed. There is also $46,902 in per game roster bonuses ($750,000 total roster bonus). Total: $5.5 million, no guarantees.
Total: 4 years, $28 million, $13 million fully guaranteed.
Most likely, the Broncos will pay Stewart $17.5 million over the next two years, or an average of $8.75 million. Not bad for a guy who had been playing on $2.5 million this season.