Doug Baldwin, the 2015 breakout receiver for the Seattle Seahawks, signed a four year, $46M extension this week. After posting career-highs in catches, yards, and touchdowns, Seattle had made it clear that extending their leading receiver was a top priority. In terms of new money in his four-year extension, the deal pays Baldwin $11.5M APY, which ranks seventh among all wide receivers and is just a bit more than the recently-renewed Keenan Allen of the San Diego Chargers.
In Baldwin's deal, he is essentially fully-guaranteed $12M at signage; This is composed of a $7M signing bonus (spread out evenly as $1.4M across the five years of the contract - including the last year of his original deal), his 2016 base salary of $1M, plus a $4M roster bonus. Roughly 26% of Baldwin's contract is fully-guaranteed.
Perhaps the most relevant piece of info is that Doug's 2016 cap number jumps from $6.325M to $9.225M.
Baldwin's total guarantees come in at $24.25M - roughly 52% of his deal. Those are mostly vesting injury protections that eventually become guaranteed after a certain date. For example, his full 2017 base salary of $7.75M becomes fully guaranteed on the fifth waiver day of 2017. Additionally, $4.5M of his 2018 base salary ($8.25M) becomes guaranteed on the fifth waiver day of 2018. His cap hits for the next few years are as follows: $9.225M in 2016, $9.65M in 2017, $10.4M in 2018, $11.4M in 2019, and $11.65M in 2020.
Spotrac has a good visual representation of the deal:
My take on the deal
It's too early for me to say that I have a hard take on the deal. The numbers came in slightly higher than I expected and it's clear Baldwin is being paid based on the second half of 2015. Is that too optimistic? I'm not really sure. However, there is one thing I know for sure: John Schneider has made a living off of finding value in unexpected places. This has saved Seattle millions of dollars all across the roster, thus giving them the option to potentially slightly overpay for players that are critical to their sustained success. We'll have a clearer perspective on Baldwin's contract once the 2016 season concludes, obviously. As of right now: TBD.