The initial contract reports for New England Patriots linebacker Shea McClellin were viewed as team friendly, from my perspective. A three-year veteran deal for $4 million per season, with very little guaranteed money, made a lot of sense. The Patriots needed insurance in case the team couldn't retain either star linebacker in Dont'a Hightower or Jamie Collins, both of whom are set to be free agents after the 2016 season.
It turns out that McClellin's contract is actually cheaper than expected. The Boston Globe's Ben Volin reports that McClellin actually received a three-year deal for $8.95 million, or slightly more than $1 million less per season than originally reported.
McClellin received a $2.5 million signing bonus, as well as $300,000 in annual roster bonuses. He has an additional $500,000 in workout bonuses over the length of the deal. His base salary increases from $1 million to $1.9 million and $2.15 million over the next two seasons.
This reminds us of the original reports of the Patriots signing wide receiver Brandon LaFell in 2014. While LaFell was originally reported to have received a three-year, $11 million deal, he actually received a three-year, $9 million contract. Funny how that works out.
McClellin's contract is definitely team friendly and firmly entrenches him as the #3 linebacker for at least the 2016 season.
Volin also reports that defensive end Chris Long is playing under a one-year, $2.375 million contract. That's a great bargain for the Patriots, especially with the currently inflated market for edge defenders.