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A deeper dive into the details of Julian Edelman’s extension with the Patriots

The figures are in.

NFL: New England Patriots at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Around midnight on Thursday, ESPN’s Mike Reiss provided the year-by-year details on the new two-year extension signed by wide receiver Julian Edelman.

In addition to the cash Edelman was scheduled to receive in 2017, the deal provides the two-time Super Bowl champion with $11 million in new cash, $7 million of which is guaranteed in the form of a $5 million signing bonus, and a $2 million guaranteed 2018 salary.

Edelman can earn an additional $4 million in incentives: $500,000 in 2018, and $3.5 million in 2019. The details of the additional incentives are unknown at this point. While Reiss did report that Edelman still has the same $500,000 incentive total this season that he had in the previous contract, whether or not those incentives were simply carried over onto this current contract has not been verified. The presumption is that they will be the same.

On Friday morning, Miguel Benzan of provided a refresher on the details of Edelman’s previous incentives:

According to the details provided by Mike Reiss, here is the yearly breakdown of the deal:


Total cap figure: $7,466,666

  • Salary: $3 million
  • $2,916,666 signing bonus proration (includes $1.25 million from the previous contract)
  • Per-game roster bonus: $750,000 ($46,875 per game)
  • $250,000 workout bonus
  • $500,000 incentives (assuming they were carried over from the previous contract)


Total cap figure: $5,166,666

  • Salary: $2 million (guaranteed)
  • $1,666,666 signing bonus proration
  • Per-game roster bonus: $500,000 ($31,250 per game)
  • $500,000 workout bonus
  • $500,000 in incentives (unspecified)


Total cap figure: $8,166,666

  • Salary: $2 million (guaranteed for injury only)
  • $1,666,666 signing bonus proration
  • Per-game roster bonus: $500,000 ($31,250 per game)
  • $500,000 workout bonus
  • $3.5 million in incentives (unspecified)

For all the information in one place, here is the graphic Miguel created, as he does for every Patriots contract, which encompasses all of the details of Edelman’s extension. It’s always interesting to note the “cash” column, which is the actual amount that the player can earn in a given season.

For the large contingent of Patriots fans who feel that Edelman has spent his entire career being victimized by a frugal Patriots regime, Mike Reiss offers some sage words for consideration. Edelman’s case, one could surmise that playing for a perennial Super Bowl contender, catching passes from a future Hall of Famer and close friend in Tom Brady, being part of a stable environment, and possibly setting himself up for post-career opportunities in a region where he has a massive following were significant factors in his decision-making process.

Edelman, who will turn thirty-two next May, was also slated to be included in a 2018 UFA class of wide receivers that, on paper, appears to be one of the deepest in recent memory. Here are the biggest names listed in no particular order:

  • Alshon Jeffery
  • Terrelle Pryor
  • DeAndre Hopkins
  • Larry Fitzgerald
  • Jarvis Landry
  • Davante Adams
  • Martavis Bryant
  • Jordan Matthews
  • Allen Robinson
  • Donte Moncrief
  • Sammy Watkins
  • Mike Wallace
  • Taylor Gabriel

Prior to Thursday’s extension, Edelman had earned $14,374,375 in cash since the beginning of 2013 — the final year of his rookie contract.

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