The Devil in DA's Contract Details

The details of Derek Anderson's odd contract have been the subject of much speculation, particularly as it might impact the team's ability to trade the QB. John Taylor has gotten the scoop on DA's deal...

For a good chunk of this offseason, there's been increasing and rampant speculation regarding quarterback Derek Anderson's contract generally and his soon-to-be-due roster bonus specifically.

Courtesy of a good friend and extremely solid league source, The OBR has finally gotten our hands on the most minutest of details from the contract the QB signed at this time last year. And, to be honest, it's somewhat anticlimactic.

Bottom Line #1: whoever holds Anderson's contract on March 15 of this year has to either pay him the $5 million roster bonus or owe him the same amount in 2010. That bonus, should it not be exercised and is instead recouped by the player during the next league year, would count against the cap in 2010 -- provided, of course, there is even a cap.

The roster bonus is not guaranteed, but the amount of money assigned to the bonus is. Technically, according to the specifics of his contract, $5 million of his $7.45 million base salary in 2010 would become guaranteed if he's not paid the bonus due in the middle of this month.

Practically speaking, this is likely a non-issue as whomever holds the contract at the time it's due will pick up the bonus. Technically speaking, it's a fascinating look into how both teams and player representatives massage the current cap to meet their own ends. Which, of course, leads us to...

Bottom Line #2, and based on talks with four people who have knowledge of contracts and salary cap minutia: the way the deal is structured was seemingly beneficial to both sides; the Anderson camp got the guaranteed money they were seeking, while the stewards of the old Cleveland Browns regime acquired some cap protection for this current year against a total and complete flameout by Anderson in '08.

With the added bonus, more than one source noted, of the $5 million hit being deferred to a year that may or may not have a salary cap.

And -- in a nod to the late, great Paul Harvey -- now you know the rest of the story.

We think.

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