This past Saturday, the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Patrick Chung’s new extension with New England, sending another wave rippling through the Patriots Twittersphere. But without the substantive contract details, the news left more questions than answers.
The Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe provided a bit more context on Sunday evening.
Chung was set to earn $2.4 million in cash in 2018. So he’ll have an extra $9.1 million in new money with the extension.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) March 19, 2018
So just how can the Patriots lower Chung’s 2018 cap figure while giving him $9.1 million in new money? First, it’s important to take a look at how his current 2018 cap figure is currently structured.
Signing bonus proration: $800,000 — the final prorated portion of the $2.4 million signing bonus he received as part of his 2015 extension.
Per-game roster bonuses: $400,000
Incentives classified as “likely to be earned” in 2018: $600,000
2018 Cap Figure: $3,800,000
Howe went on to further clarify that the $5.4 million 2018 figure he referenced was indeed a cash amount — not a cap amount. That is a critical piece of information when trying to predict the structure of Chung’s extension without having all of the pertinent details.
Here’s a prediction on how the extension will look. Remember, this is strictly an estimation that abides by the parameters of the reported totals, while also maintaining the premise that New England would want to lower Chung’s 2018 cap number in the process.
This new theoretical deal satisfies Chung’s $5.4 million 2018 cash total, his total “new money” figure of $9.1 million, and the 3-year figure of $11.5 million. It would include a 2018 salary reduction to $1 million, which would become fully guaranteed. His new $4 million signing bonus the deal includes would certainly cushion the blow. His non-guaranteed 2019 and 2020 salaries would be $2.4 million and $2.5 million.
This new deal would get rid of Chung’s $600,000 likely to be earned 2018 incentives, but maintain his $400,000 in per-game roster bonuses. Those bonuses would increase to $600,000 per year in 2019 and 2020 to help keep his injury risk in line with his age. All told, this estimated extension would also create $266,667 worth of 2018 cap savings for the Patriots.
While guessing contract details is certainly a fun exercise, nothing beats the real thing — which we will provide the moment we have them. Stay tuned.