[editor's note, by Skin Patrol] For your consideration... I think I'm more pleased with the deal than the below indicates. It is more generally a rant about the Redskins Cap Philosophy that perhaps (I need to put more thought and research into the semantics) isn't catastrophic or excercised to that degree in this particular case. It might just be a solid, legitimate, shiny new contract for a deserving contributor to the team. If the below seems hysterical, please feel free to tell me so in the comments below. Caveat Over.
Jason La Canfora has the details on Jansen's new contract. Before we get to that, I want to briefly call attention to my criticism of restructures as a means of saving cap space in the present. My criticism is that restructuring is always advantageous for the player, limits the team's future flexibility, and merely postpones problems as opposed to mitigating them. By all indications, Jansen's new contract does all of that.
Instead of making $4.25 in base salary in 2007 - all of which counts against the cap - Jon will make the vet. min of around $720,000 in base salary, but he will get $5 million to sign. So for him, isntead of making $4.25 this season, he's getting $5.7, plus, next March he gets a $5 million option bonus. So that's essentially $10.7 mill guaranteed on this 5 year, $22 million deal.
If I'm reading this correctly, that means Jansen will save us significant money in the 2007 season, cutting his cap hit of 5.8M (1.6M in signing bonus plus 4.2M in base salary) to 3.32M (1.6M in signing bonus plus 1M in prorated signing bonus plus 720k) for a total saving of around 2.5M in space. And in the process, Jansen cashes in, as the guaranteed money is paid immediately to him in the form of a check, as opposed to base salary which is (I believe) paid over the course of the season per week.
The Skins had to create cap room - again - and essentially bank on restructuring 4-10 deals every offseason.
There is a redeemable aspect of all this:
And Jansen is a "core" Redskin, as much as any player on this team. He's been here since 1999 and I'd like to see him retire here. We can pine endlessly on about keeping core Redskins, but that requires keeping your word to said players and treating them as if you want them around.
Also, as Canfora points out, this may be the precursor to a Derrick Dockery signing. We need cap space to get him under contract, and if keeping this line intact is a priority for the team then it's only natural that we get Jansen's cap hit down a few million.
So what am I complaining about? Having to make unreasonable promises, for one. Don't make those promises, front office, and the players won't feel sleighted when you can't offer the moon. Keep your word to Jansen, but in the future be more careful with your word. Perhaps if you'd had a more realistic attitude towards restructures years ago, then you wouldn't have had to mess with Jon's contract last year. And thus you wouldn't have had to make those promises when altering his contract. This is a perfect example of a vicious cycle that creates itself, as a few years down the road we'll hear the same story only (perhaps) with different names and numbers associated.
I'll leave Jason with the final word as he puts it better than I (emphasis added):