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Jason Campbell isn’t getting paid like a starter, yet

Campbell

When the Browns signed quarterback Jason Campbell, many assumed he’d potentially become the team’s starter in 2013. And he’ll definitely get a chance to win the job, since he’s the first signal-caller signed by the new regime in Cleveland, after previously starting in Washington and Oakland.

For now, though, he’s getting paid like a backup, and not a lot when compared to other backups. A source with knowledge of the contract tells PFT that Campbell’s contract pays out $1.5 million in 2013.

Specifically, he gets a base salary of $1.5 million in 2013, $500,000 of which is fully guaranteed.

That said, if Campbell can win the job, he’ll make more money via incentives. Specifically, he gets $150,000 for 50 percent playing time in 2013, 65 percent results in $350,000, and 80 percent triggers $600,000.

In 2014, Campbell’s base salary is a bit higher, at $2 million. He also gets roster bonus of $250,000 due the third day of the league year.

But there are escalators for 2014 based on playing time in the coming season. Campbell’s 2014 base salary will increase by $500,000 based on 30 percent playing time in 2013. 40 percent playing time in 2013 increases the 2014 salary by another $500,000. Ten more percent in 2013? Another $500,000 in 2014. And if Campbell takes 65 percent or more of the snaps in 2013, his $2 million salary will double.

Still, his backup pay for 2013 is low, and that’s largely because Campbell’s options were limited. Especially in light of the egg he laid when he had a chance during 2012 to sub for Jay Cutler in Chicago, during that Monday night debacle against the 49ers.

Campbell could have stayed in Chicago and backed up Cutler, or he could have gone to Cleveland with a chance to win the starting job. If Campbell pulls it off, he’ll be paid more on the back end.

And if he plays really well in 2013, the Browns likely will tear up the 2014 deal and sign him to something better.