Cameron Heyward Contract Projection

Now that defensive ends Cameron Jordan and Corey Liuget have their new deals in place, we have a pretty good idea as to what the new contract that Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward will ultimately sign prior to the start of the 2015 season.

When trying to predict what Heywards new deal will look like, which is bound to be a five-year extension that will run through the 2020 season, let’s look at what he will likely get in new money being as he’s already scheduled to earn $6.969 million in 2015 as a result of his fifth-year option being picked up last offseason.

Being as Jordan’s new money averages out to be $11 million a year and Liuget’s new money averages out to be $10.25 million a year, I have a feeling that Heywards new money average will fall somewhere between the two. Based on my projections, I have Heyward’s new money averaging out at $10,406,200 a year. Based on the new money average, I have the total value of his new money coming in at $52.031 million.

Now let’s look at the expected signing bonus, true guaranteed money and structure of the Heyward’s forthcoming extension. This is real hard to do not knowing how much cap relief the Steelers are wanting in 2015, but being as they probably aren’t looking for much relief this season, I’m going to project an $11 million signing bonus to go along with a first-year base of one million and a $2.5 million roster bonus, all of which is guaranteed. That total out to be $14 million at signing, which is just a little more than Liuget just received and a new cap charge in 2015 of $5.7 million.

Now, in order to keep the cash flow over the life of the contract just a little higher than Liuget’s, we’ll need to give Heyward a base salary of $3.5 million in 2016 to go along with a $5 million roster bonus that will be paid to him right after the start of that league year. In other words, Heyward will have $23 million in his bank account after the 2016 season.

Now, keep in mind that the Steelers like those second-year roster bonuses as they can easily turn them into signing bonuses via a simple restructure should they need cap relief.

The final four year’s worth of base salaries are easy to fill in knowing that we have to keep the cash flow steady in addition to having Heyward’s cap hit in 2017 being his highest of the scheduled years.

When Heywards new deal is done, expect the guaranteed numbers to be reported as being around $32 million. That number takes into account the injury/skill guarantees and usually equates to the total cash value of the first three years of the deal.

If look back at Jordan’s contract that he recently signed, you will notice that he will pocket $33.669 million in the first three years of his new deal. in my projection for Heyward, he will earn just $1.669 less than that during that same span. It’s also important to remember that$2.8 million of the new money that Jordan received is tied to per game active roster bonuses in the final three years of his contract.

Now, will my projection and breakdown of the numbers be absolutely correct? Probably not, but the total value of the contract along with the guaranteed money in year-one should be fairly close. We’ll see.

Cameron Heyward Contract Projection

Year Base Salary Signing Bonus Roster Bonus Total Cap Charge
2015 $1,000,000 $2,200,000 $2,500,000 $5,700,000
2016 $3,500,000 $2,200,000 $5,000,000 $11,200,000
2017 $9,500,000 $2,200,000 $0 $11,700,000
2018 $8,500,000 $2,200,000 $0 $10,700,000
2019 $8,500,000 $2,200,000 $0 $10,700,000
2020 $9,500,000 $0 $0 $9,500,000
TOTALS $41,000,000 $11,000,000 $7,000,000
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