On Wednesday morning, the underlying details of Demaryius Thomas’s were made available.
ESPN’s Field Yates was the first to report that the nine-year veteran’s 2019 cap hit will be $2,906,250. A few minutes later, MMQB’s Albert Breer filled in the blanks that remained with the rest of the contract’s particulars.
New Patriots WR Demaryius Thomas' 1-year deal is HEAVY on "we'll see" type parameters ...— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 17, 2019
$150K to sign.
$150K reporting bonus.
$1.2 million base.
$1.406 million in per-game rosters.
$750K for 60 catches.
$750K for 800 yards.
$750K for 1000 yards.
$750K for 1200 yards.
After the signing was initially reported as a one-year deal worth up to $6 million, little doubt was left as to the true nature of the deal; short on guarantees and saturated with incentives and per-game bonuses. However, for a 31-year old coming off a torn Achilles in late December, the possibility of earning $6 million this season — a figure that is unsurprisingly just below Julian Edelman’s $6.5 million 2019 earning potential — is a quite an opportunity.
At 24, the former first round pick suffered an Achilles tear (reportedly the other one) in a February, 2011 workout and returned to action in week six of that season. He was active for next 122 regular season games until suffering the injury in week 16 of last year that would end the streak. Would a six-week head start on the recovery process give Thomas — now seven years older — enough time to participate in training camp this summer, or crack the week one starting l lineup? Time will tell, but the deal’s details certainly show that both sides see it as a significant possibility.
Should the former Denver Bronco be healthy enough to play all 16 games, and productive enough to hit some or all of his incentive tiers — all of which are currently considered not likely to be earned, based on his 2018 totals — the Patriots would lose an additional $93,750 in cap space this season, and every dollar of earned incentives would reflect as a negative adjustment in New England’s 2020 adjusted team cap calculation. For example, if Thomas tallies 60 catches for 1,100 yards this season, $2.25 million will be deducted from the Patriots’ 2020 adjusted team cap.
If Thomas reports to camp but is unable to participate and is eventually put on the PUP list, his $1.2 million salary would become fully guaranteed in week one, since he is a vested veteran. The Patriots would then receive a credit of $93,750 towards their 2020 adjusted team cap calculation for each game missed up to 15 — the amount of games for which his per-game roster bonuses are classified as likely to be earned in 2019.
If the former Georgia Tech standout reports to camp, participates, and then finds himself among those cut before week one — or if he adds his name to the long list of veteran wideouts who have retired during Patriots training camp over the years — the team would only incur $300,000 in 2019 dead money.
Thomas’s cap hit currently ranks 20th on the roster, and 9th on the offense. After replacing interior defensive lineman Adam Butler in the team’s top-51, the signing cost the Patriots $2,261,250 in cap space, leaving them with just over $13 million as they head into the draft.