Former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback William Gay signed a two-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals a few weekends ago and now the financials of the deal are leaking out. The total of the two-year deal is reportedly $3.2 million and consist of a 2012 base salary of $975,000 and a 2013 base salary of $1.475 million. Gay received a $500,000 signing bonus and the deal also is believed to have included a 2013 roster bonus of $250,000. The second year is of course not guaranteed. This means that the 2012 cap hit for Gay should be $1.225 million and his 2013 cap hit, should he make the roster, would be $1.975 million.
Gay mentioned last Tuesday on Trib Live Radio that his decision to sign with the Cardinals was not about the money, but more about opportunity instead. Gay mentioned that the Steelers had a contract on the table, but it is hard to imagine that it would have been much more than the minimum for his accrued years. I still think that the Steelers likely only had a one-year qualifying contract offered to Gay that would have paid him a $700,000 base salary and a $65,000 signing bonus. This would have made his cap hit an affordable $605,000 under the benefits of the one-year qualifying contract cap discount provisions.
We will never know what the Steelers offered Gay unless he is to tell the media, but he surely pocketed more money by signing with the Cardinals. He also likely has a better opportunity to start for them in 2012 as well and at worst should be their nickel cornerback in sub-packages.