The Denver Bronc gave cornerback Aqib Talib that largest free agent contract of the offseason so far, but it may all end up being just a mirage. While the numbers being reported are large — and for the most part correct — what is being glossed over is the fact that thanks to the structuring of Talib’s deal, he may only end up making $12 million in 2014 and then hit free agency again in 2015.
According to USA Today, who obtained a copy of Talib’s contract, the Broncos structured his deal so that only $11.5 million of the $57 million he agreed to is fully guaranteed. With a bonus of $500,000 written in, the Broncos can cut Talib after this season and only have to absorb his $4 million cap hit — and nothing more than that.
If Aqib Talib’s stay in Denver doesn’t work out as planned, his six-year, $57 million contract could end up being a one-year, $12 million pact.
Just $11.5 million of Talib’s contract is fully guaranteed and he’ll get all of it in 2014, according to salary data obtained Thursday by USA TODAY Sports.
What this does is make John Elway and Tom Heckert look even more like geniuses. The only knock on the Talib deal was that they were giving a guy notorious for off-field problems a lot of money. Turns out they actually didn’t, as his contract is more similar to that of Darrelle Revis’ rather than the giant contract it looked like.