Let’s analyze how they came to the numbers. Guyton was an exclusive rights free agent with a $470,000 tender. Had he played that one out, he would’ve been — almost certainly, regardless of the CBA situation — a restricted free agent next year.
That would’ve meant, from the team’s side, tendering him an offer before the start of the 2011 league year. Because Guyton was an undrafted free agent (making the draft-level compensation tier irrelevant), the Patriots likely would’ve tendered him at the second-round level. Those numbers inch up every year, but this year, the second-round tender was $1.648 million.
So if you add the tender Guyton got this year, plus the tender he likely would’ve gotten next year (at this year’s rate), you come up with a total of $2.154 million. Now, let’s look at what he got in this deal …
Signing bonus: $650,000
2011: $1 million
Total: $2.155 million
And given that the RFA tenders will likely rise (remember, that potential lockout doesn’t happen until after the draft) in 2011, Guyton may lose a couple thousands bucks, but gets more up front. He’ll collect $1.155 million this year, which should help in the event of a work stoppage.
So in the end, Guyton gets more of his cash before the potential lockout, and that’s what all players are looking to do — and have been looking to do — when negotiating new deals in this labor climate. The Patriots? They get a guy locked up whom they won’t have to worry about in the winter of 2011, and one that played an average of more than 50 snaps per game in 2009, and they might save a few dollars on the back-end. So in that way, this one’s a win-win.
At least, that’s the way the linebacker sees it, as evidenced on his now-verified Twitter account: “Yes this is the official gary guyton twitter. Thanks for all those congrats!!! To all my fans I appreciate the love. #PatriotNation!”