Howie did it again.
The Nigel Bradham contract — widely reported as a five-year, $40 million deal — in reality, is an extremely team-friendly deal that gives the Eagles tremendous flexibility depending on whether they want to keep the veteran linebacker after this coming season.
The contract could be as little as a one-year, $6 million deal if the Eagles decide to move on from Bradham after the 2018 season.
According to a league source familiar with the deal, it contains only $6 million in truly guaranteed components — a $5 million signing bonus and Bradham's fully guaranteed 2018 base salary of $1 million.
The remaining base salaries are $8 million each in 2019, 2020 and 2021 and $10 million in 2022. But the last three years of base salary aren't guaranteed at all, and only $2 million of the $8 million base in 2019 is guaranteed.
And according to the source, that $2 million offsets if Bradham signs with another team after the Eagles release him.
So if the Eagles release Bradham after the 2018 season and he signs a contract worth at least $2 million with another team, that $2 million is no longer the Eagles' responsibility. If the new contract is less than $2 million — not likely — then the amount of the deal would offset and the remainder would count against the Eagles' cap.
If the full $2 million were to offset, the only part of the contract that would accelerate into dead money would be the remaining prorated four years of the signing bonus, or $4 million.
So the Eagles would see a $5 million cap savings if they choose to release Bradham after one year — the difference between his $9 million cap figure and $4 million in dead money.
The Eagles hold options on the final three years of the contract, so if they release Bradham after the 2020 season it's a two-year, $14 million deal with only $3 million in dead money.
The Eagles have a lot of unknowns at linebacker — Jordan Hicks' health, Mychal Kendricks' future — so having a contract with Bradham that gives the Eagles flexibility is huge.
Bradham will have a cap figure of just $2 million in 2018, and if he's here beyond this coming season his cap figures will be $9 million in 2019, 2020 and 2021 and $11 million in 2022.
The dead money hit would be $4 million in 2018 and decrease by $1 million per year — $3 million after 2019, $2 million after 2020 and $1 million after 2021.