The Seattle Seahawks and defensive end Chris Clemons reached an agreement on a multiyear extension last week. The new deal ended a contract stalemate that led to Clemons skipping the team's offseason program, and mandatory minicamp that resulted in the forfeiture of $1 million in base salary escalators he had earned for the final year of his contract.
According to a source with knowledge of Clemons' new contract, the deal is scheduled to pay out $22 million over the next three seasons, with an additional $4 million available in base salary escalators tied to the number of sacks that Clemons produces over the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
Clemons received a $6.5 million signing bonus and his $2 million base salary in 2012 is fully guaranteed. The $8.5 million more than doubles the $3.85 million in base salary and incentives Clemons could have made this season.
The $22 million in total value of the three-year deal and $4 million in sack escalators are upgrades over the $18 million plus $1 million in incentives the Seahawks had previously offered, but Clemons rejected. An increase in 2012 compensation, total value of the deal and more incentives are wins for Clemons' camp, but the Seahawks had a few wins of their own in this deal.
More importantly, the Seahawks get their top pass-rusher signed and happy before training camp in what is a critical third season in Seattle for head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider. The Seahawks also won a bit on the guaranteed money side and will likely pay Clemons about what they had expected to over the next two seasons.
Clemons is slated to earn $6 million in base salary in 2013, but just $1.5 million of that is fully guaranteed, bringing the official guarantee in the new contract to $10 million.
If Clemons' production drops, the Seahawks could conceivably part ways with him by eating the $1.5 million that's fully guaranteed -- though that's an unlikely scenario. Clemons should earn the full $14.5 million over the two seasons. That $14.5 million figure is similar to what he would have made had he played out the 2012 season under his $3.85 million in possible compensation and forced the Seahawks to use the franchise tag (projected value of around $10.8 million) on him next offseason.
Clemons' deal rounds out with a non-guaranteed base salary of $7.5 million in 2014. Salary-cap space isn't an issue for the Seahawks, but Clemons will count $4.166 million against the cap this season, $8.166 million in 2013 and $9.666 million in 2014.