6 years and $67 million. That’s a huge contract, especially for wide receiver. Except that, as I said yesterday, NFL contract numbers are almost never what they are reported to be. This is very much true for the new contract for Percy Harvin as well.
Technically, if Harvin suddenly goes insane and the Seahawks simply want him as far away as possible, they can cut him just after this year’s Super Bowl and not owe him another dime. His salary cap number would still be over $12 mil for 2014, but he’d be off the books in terms of real money. Don’t worry though, this scenario will never play-out.
Less than a week after the Super Bowl, all of Harvin’s 2014 salary becomes guaranteed. But that is all the guaranteed money in his contract. He can be released at any point at any point after the 2014 season if it simply becomes convient for the team to do so.
So in that way, this contract is vey much 2 year, $26.5 million contract.
This is significant, because it’s after the 2014 season when things get dicey for the Seahawks. They have 3 players, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, and Russell Wilson who will all be due for massive pay raises.
In all honesty though, unless Harvin completely blows up in the locker room or completely breaks down physically and cannot get onto the field, I don’t expect to see him released after just 2 years. But the point is that they could.
In fact, if the Seahawks decide to cut Harvin after just 2 years on this contract, they’d still manage to free up $5.7 million on the cap the following year. That’s fairly rare for so early in this type of contract.
The third year is almost certainly Harvin’s final year on that contract in my opinion. Unless he’s still one of the most explosive players in the NFL at that time (few players ever remain at that level for that long), I can’t imagine that Harvin will remain on the roster beyond year three.
Cutting him at that point would free up $7.8 mil of cap space. Unless he’s still playing at a level very close to what he’s playing at now, he would be replaceable for that much.
On the other hand, this contract doesn’t have any balloon salaries, or roster bonuses, or any other such madness. If Percy Harvin continues to play like Percy Harvin throughout the life of the contract, and the the Seahawks don’t suddenly run to some crazy cap trouble, its possible that Harvin could actually play out this contract. It’s extremely unlikely, but it is possible.
Basically, what I’m saying is that Matt Thomas (the guy who replaced John Idzik, now the GM of the Jets) did a masterful job in constructing the terms of this contract.
Yes, it is a lot of money, but it is also very team friendly in the way it is put together.
Full contract breakdown:
*that year’s portion of the $12 million signing bonus