Favre nears ‘end' of contract

Record deal QB signed in 2001 essentially for six seasons

Quarterback Brett Favre signed an NFL record-breaking contract with the Green Bay Packers in February of 2001, a value of $101.5 million over 10 years. While the contract extension is beyond the actual number of years that Favre is expected to play in the league, he is entering the final year in which a sizeable roster bonus is included.

Favre received an $11 million bonus upon signing the deal prior to the start of free agency in 2001. It was negotiated by Favre's agent, James "Bus" Cook, and Packers Vice President of Player Finance/General Counsel Andrew Brandt. The two ripped up a seven-year, $42 million deal that Favre signed in 1997 and created the league's first $100 million contract.

Though the deal is for 10 seasons, Favre essentially is entering the sixth and final year. The first six seasons are worth $51.5 million. Favre is scheduled to receive a roster bonus of $3 million in March and a base salary of $7 million in 2006, if he returns to play for the Packers. In addition to the $11 million bonus he received up front in 2001, Favre also has received bonuses of $4 million in 2002, and $3 million each in 2003, 2004 and 2005. The $11 million signing bonus is prorated over the first six years of the contract for salary cap purposes.

"This basically solidifies that I will be here for the remainder of my career," Favre said at the time he signed the contract. "I know I'm speaking for my family as well as we're very pleased that that's going to take place."

Favre's base salary is scheduled to jump to $11 million in 2007, $12 million in 2008, $13 million in 2009, and $14 million in 2010. No roster bonuses are included in each of those years.

Favre has a $10 million salary cap number for 2006. His retirement would accelerate $2.4 million of unamortized signing bonus into the cap, but create a net gain of $7.6 million in cap room because his $7 million base salary and $3 million roster bonus would be wiped off the books.

The Packers can enter free agency, which begins March 3, with more than $15 million in cap room to spend on their own players. The Packers have 14 unrestricted free agents and three restricted free agents.

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