What’s apparent here is that there isn’t a whole lot of fluff in this contract, the way there is in a whole lot of other ones around the league. So here it is, as reported to the NFLPA:
BASE SALARIES ($20.015 Million)
2012: $4.5 Million*
2013: $6.5 Million
2014: $7.5 Million
* — guaranteed
WEIGHT BONUSES ($1.185 Million)
WORKOUT BONUSES ($800,000)
Add it all up and it comes to $40 million, on the nose. No escalators or hard-to-reach incentives. Simply put, if Vince plays out this deal, makes weight, and shows up for the offseason program, he stands to earn every last penny on his new deal, which expires a little ways after his 33rd birthday.
And believe it or not, his earning power might not be gone at that point, either. Consider that the Dolphins just re-upped Jason Ferguson, even though he’ll turn 36 next year and is facing an eight-game suspension. Or the fact that the Patriots started 35-year-old nose tackles on their last two Super Bowl champions (Ted Washington in 2003, and Keith Traylor in 2004). These guys last longer than people may lead you to believe, and the reason why is simple, and even more poignant now with more teams running the 3-4: The big, stout, sturdy nose tackle isn’t very easy to find.