The legal tampering period started on Monday with a flurry of news across the league. Franchise tags were being applied left and right, wide receivers were being traded and pass rushers were getting scooped up very quickly. At the end of the day, there were only a handful of transactions involving any of the nineteen members of the Seattle Seahawks whose contracts were set to expire on Wednesday and become unrestricted free agents.
A couple of those pieces of news were the team retaining two of its own, as they reached agreement on deals with tight end Luke Willson and defensive tackle Jarran Reed. However, late in the evening news leaked that George Fant, a fan favorite, had reached an agreement to play for the New York Jets on a deal reported to be for three years and $30M. Now that the dust has settled, though, the details of Fant’s contract have leaked and we can see what the Seahawks opted not to match or outbid in order to retain Fant’s services going forward.
Thus, here are the terms of the contract from OverTheCap.com.
Based on the numbers from OTC, Fant received just a $3M signing bonus, and is set to receive a $1.25M roster bonus at some point this season. His base salaries in the three years of the contract are $4.6M, $8M and $9.25M, so when combined with $400,000 in per game roster bonuses per year, Fant’s cap number each year going forward will be the following:
- 2020: $7.25M
- 2021: $9.4M
- 2022: $10.65M
Those numbers assume he will be healthy and active for all 16 (or 17 starting in 2021 or 2022), and put Fant in the range of counting an average of $9M against the salary cap in each of the next three seasons. In addition, with just a $3M signing bonus, the Jets can move on from Fant next offseason if they don’t like what they see and take just a $2M dead money charge in 2021.
In short, the Jets handed Fant just under $9M guaranteed to start for them on the offensive line, and if he doesn’t perform well, they move on without it costing much going forward. By guaranteeing Fant one year of starter money, they are buying the potential to possibly get three years of him starting. Basically, the Jets just bought a $9M lottery ticket, and hopes it pays off with three years of starting caliber performance.