It's a highly favorable deal for Bowe. He got $15M in the form of signing bonus, giving him $36M over the first three years of the pact. It's almost identical to the deal Vincent Jackson got from the Bucs last year and is significantly more than the $36.3M the Saints gave Marques Colston. Bowe's deal also sets the bar high for the current crop of free agents. The Dolphins may have to come with something in the neighborhood of $62 million over five years in order to land Mike Wallace, the best wideout left on the market.
2. $750,000 fully-guaranteed base salary in 2013.
3. $250,000 workout bonus in each year of the contract.
4. $8.75 million base salary in 2014, $4.25 million of which is fully guaranteed now and $4.5 million of which is guaranteed for injury only now. The $4.5 million becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2014 league year.
5. $10.75 million base salary in 2015. $1.5 million is guaranteed for injury now, and it becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2014 (not 2015) league year.
6. $9.75 million base salary in 2016.
7. $9.75 million base salary in 2017.
It adds up to $36 million over the first three years, and $56 million over five. Of the amount, $26 million is guaranteed. $20 million is fully guaranteed now. The other $6 million becomes fully guaranteed next year.
It puts Bowe behind only Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Lions receiver Calvin Johnson. (Which means that the new regime views Bowe as a top five, not top 10, receiver.)
Of course, Bowe could soon slide down the totem pole. He has provided the starting point for soon-to-be free agent Mike Wallace, and if Percy Harvin gets a new deal from the Vikings or someone else, it’ll surely top Bowe’s contract.
The real question is whether Packers receiver Greg Jennings can match or beat Bowe on the open market.
In one week, we’ll find out.