In response to Muzwell's comment:
In response to Getzo's comment:
I say think TB's contract here. He will reduce but get a solid amount of guarantees. 3 year extension, and then retire.
My guess 3 years extended total of 20mill, 10 guaranteed over 4 years.
So 4 years 20 mill, 10 in the pocket.
Without looking at the deal, my recall is his salary is $7.5 mil this year, give or take. Convert that to a combo of garanteed salary this year and signing bonus, add two or three years and his salaries in those added years in the $5 mil range, non-guaranteed. So just the $7.5 is guaranteed, and he gets all of that this year. If he's still playing well, he stays next year at a reasonable salary. If not, there's a couple mil in dead money to deal with.
If you did a 6 and 2 split between bonus and base this year, his cap hit this year would still be 7.6 million (4.0 from the new deal and 3.6 from the old that still has to be accounted for). That's better than 11.6 million, but still high. Plus if you cut him next year, there's 4 million in dead money. I can see the Pats doing that, but it would be generous. I suspect they do something more like a 4 and 1 split (maybe with playing time incentives that could get him closer to 8 if he plays a lot) and then give him a good roster bonus if they keep him next year. Lots of upside if he plays, but not killer on the cap if he doesn't.