I, for one, am relieved Clausen and the Panthers got this deal done on time. This is one distraction the team could certainly do without. The tough part of Clausen's deal is trying to get him slotted in as the 48th draft pick, but still compensating properly in the event he becomes the starter. (FWIW, 432 people voted correctly at the link above).The interesting thing I noticed was the higher than expected max value. Here's what Darin Gantt had to say:
Max value of Clausen deal ... (Darin Gantt via Twitter)
Max value of Clausen deal $6.3 million over four years if he hits escalators and incentives.
Clausen's deal includes ... (Darin Gantt via Twitter)
Clausen's deal includes escalators he'd hit with play time incentives, and includes $2.533 million guaranteed, according to a league source.
Based on my calculations earlier this offseason, I had predicted:
Jimmy Clausen's slotted contract should be between $4.227-$4.582 million with between $2.245-$2.412 million guaranteed.
That's based on previous #48 overall picks and recent 2nd and 3rd round QB's. (FWIW, 432 people voted correctly at the link above).
As far as I can tell, it certainly sounds like the Panthers gave him much higher than expected escalators and incentives that he would be due based on his draft position. It sounds like the Panthers gave him more money than he was due (based on draft position) to get him into camp on time.
What does this mean? In an offseason full of thriftiness by the Panthers, Clausen was more or less the only player to get a "big" payday, and he didn't have to hold out to get it. I believe the Panthers made this move to send a message that there's a real possibility for him to start by season's end, and if that happens, he will be paid accordingly. What do you think?
Update 7/28 2:40PM:
It sounds like the biggest escalators come in the 4th year (highly unusual outside of the first round):
Panthers reach deal with 2nd-round pick Clausen. (Sports.Yahoo.com)
Agent Gary Wichard and the Panthers worked through the night to reach a deal, which was struck after a fourth-year escalator—a rarity for a second-round pick—was included that tops out at $2.85 million