Taking a look at the contracts of Grant, Woodson and Hawk « Ol' Bag of Donuts

Taking a look at the contracts of Grant, Woodson and Hawk

It’s Friday and, for many of you, that means it’s pay day. 

What better day to examine a trio of key contracts for the Green Bay Packers?

Just make sure you look at your check before you read these numbers. Otherwise, you might get a little upset.

The respective deals of running back Ryan Grant, cornerback Charles Woodson and linebacker A.J. Hawk are all telling in their own ways. And, with each player being in the news in some form or another in the past week, we figured we’d take a glance at the contracts and see how the future could look for each of them.

(Get ready to deal with a lot of numbers, okay?)

First, Grant.

Grant is in the third year of his four-year, $20 million (with a potential $10 million more in incentives) contract signed in 2008. Even though his season is over, Grant will still walk away with a tidy sum of dough – roughly $6.281 million, though he’ll miss out on over $468,000 in those weekly gameday roster bonuses the team loves to include in contracts. The interesting numbers, of course, are in Grant’s 2011 salary.

In all, Grant could earn exactly $6 million next season. That’s the total of a $3.5 million salary, $1.75 million roster bonus (due in March), $500,000 in gameday roster bonuses and a $250,000 workout bonus. There are multiple yardage bonuses in there, also, but for now, let’s just look at that $6 million figure. Seems a bit high, doesn’t it?

Whether or not the cap returns next season – and you have to think it will in some form – the Packers have some other, younger players potentially line for raises (Jermichael Finley, James Jones and Josh Sitton, to name a few). If the team is looking to lop off some salary in order to get cash for those players, Grant’s large contract very well could be a good place to start. Remember the following factors: Grant turns 28 in December, will be coming off a major injury and plays on a pass-first offense. I’m not suggesting he’s played his final down for Green Bay or anything, but it is something to keep in the back of your mind going forward.

Now, let’s talk about Woodson. Unbelievably, we at OBOD failed to make any mention of Woodson’s extension, signed late last week. Our bad – it just got lost in the shuffle while we were focusing on the Eagles game. Luckily, the outstanding writers at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel pulled through with most of the specifics on the deal.

Woodson – previously set to earn $19.5 million (not counting incentives) over the final three years of his seven-year, $52.7 million deal (if he hit every incentive) signed in 2006 - is now an even-richer man than he was before. His old salaries for those three years, by the way: $7.5 million, $5.5 million and $6.5 million.

Here are his total numbers for each of the five years of the deal now:

  • 2010 – $13.24 million ($7.5 million original salary from previous deal, plus an advance of $5.74 million)
  • 2011 – $9.55 million ($6.5 million salary, $3.05 million roster bonus, paid all at once, instead of the team’s usual gameday roster bonus clause)
  • 2012 – $11.5 million ($6.5 million salary, $5 million roster bonus, again paid all at once)
  • 2013 – $10 million ($6.5 million salary, $3.5 million roster bonus)
  • 2014 – $10 million ($6.5 million salary, $3.5 million roster bonus)

The Journal Sentinel said he’ll receive $27.25 million in new money, but my count, it’s actually closer to $34 million (if Woodson sees the end of the deal, that is). Of course, there’s almost no chance he sees the end of the contract as Woodson turns 34 years old next month. Either way, it’s nice to know that Woodson’s locked up. He’ll likely end his career as a Packer now. Frankly, that’s how it should be. Read what I wrote about him after he won Defensive Player of the Year back in January. I think that says it best.

Finally, it’s time to talk about Hawk (hey – that rhymed!). Much has been made of Hawk putting his house in DePere on the market. To many, that suggests he’ll be traded shortly. I disagree. The real reason Hawk’s house is on the market is simple: It’s about 99 percent certain that this is his last year in Green Bay.

Hawk’s base salary for next season – the last of his rookie contract - if you didn’t know? A whopping $10 million. There’s a reason that number is so high, of course. Hawk’s agent figured he would make multiple Pro Bowl trips in the years that preceded 2011 (and why wouldn’t he? The rest of us all did). With that last year being so pricey, in that multiple-Pro Bowl scenario, the team would have no choice but to sign Hawk to an extension long before 2011 came around. Things obviously haven’t worked out that way, though, have they?

Still, if you’re looking for Hawk to take a reduced salary, look again. Hawk’s agent will likely balk at any such notion and, really, that’s good business sense. Even if Hawk is released, he’s still fairly young (turns 27 in January) and has been, at least, a solid player in multiple defensive schemes. Cap or no cap, it’s not unfair to suggest he’d be in line for a deal in the neighborhood of five years, $20 million. If that’s the case, he’d likely net himself around $10 million in guaranteed dough, anyways. Why stay in Green Bay – a place you’ve clearly falled out of favor a bit - for less when you can go elsewhere, start over and still walk away with $10 million?

That’s why his house is on the market. By March, he’ll be gone. Better to start shopping the place sooner rather than later, right?

-Chris Lempesis

3 comments to Taking a look at the contracts of Grant, Woodson and Hawk

  • bird

    Hawk for Lynch straight up

  • DaveK

    The Grant negotiation was a tricky thing. He was a restricted free agent and thus couldn’t sign with another team but was certainly within his right to not to sign the tender. He had an amazing 2nd half of the prior year after he became the starter. He ran for almost 1,000 in half a season and was a big reason they almost made a run to the Superbowl. Throw in the Favre drama and it just made sense for TT to get that deal done even if he had to over-pay to do so. Regardless, Grant is not going anywhere next year because of his contract as $6 million may be on the high end but not so high that you would cut a guy like Grant especially given the message it would send the locker room. Plus, Grant has plenty of time to recover and should be full bore next summer.

    Woodson’s deal was really a win/win. Just like the Rodgers and Jennings deal. The player gets money early but the Packers pay under market value. As usual, TT front loaded the contract and if the cap returns next year the contract won’t burden the Packers in the future.

    Hawk’s deal is a different story. Next year he would be earning what top tier OLB’s make and TT isn’t going to pay him that. It was a poison pill year and it will work just as intended by the Hawk and his agent and he will get a new contract. I think Hawk surprises most Packer fans this year and does fairly well when he gets on the field in base. He’ll get a nice new contract (not $10 m per year though) with another team. He’ll land on a 4-3 team that is low on LB’s and needs him for three downs. Probably be the best available LB on the market next March.

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