Immediately after it was reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers had signed former Carolina Panthers safety Mike Mitchell to a five-year, $25 million contract on Tuesday, it wasn’t hard to notice that several people on Twitter thought he was overpaid. Now, after seeing the breakdown of the contract, I can tell you the Steelers got a real good deal.
If the Wednesday morning reports are indeed correct, Mitchell received a $4.75 million signing bonus as part of his contract and a guaranteed base salary in 2014 of $750,000. In addition, while not yet reported, it appears as though the safety also has a $500,000 roster or workout bonus in 2014 as well.
In 2015, Mitchell is due a roster bonus of $2 million on the 5th day of the new league year, so the Steelers can decide by that point whether or not they want to move forward with him based on his play in 2014. If for some reason the Steelers are not happy with Mitchell after one season, they can release him prior to the fifth day of the 2015 league year and only incur a dead money charge of $3.8 million.
The best case scenario is of course that Mitchell plays well and earns that 2015 roster bonus. Should that be the case, his 2015 cap charge would only be $4.95 million.