On Wednesday, the Philadelphia Eagles announced that they ahd signed undrafted rookie free agent offensive tackle Michael Bamiro to a three-year contract.
Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports 1 reports that Bamiro did not receive much of a signing bonus, but had a portion of his base salaries guaranteed. That development did not come as a surprise as NFL teams could spend a maximum of $78,170 in signing bonuses on their undrafted rookies. Prior to signing Bamiro, the Eagles had issued $77,000 in signing bonuses for their undrafted free agents.
The Eagles reached the $78,170 limit by giving Bamiro a signing bonus of $1,170 to bring the overall value of his contract to $1,486,170.
NFL teams are able to get around the undrafted rookie signing bonus cap by guaranteeing a portion of the player's base salary. As "Shutdown Corner" noted in May, several teams had spent over $100,000 in base salary guarantees on undrafted free agents. One of those teams, the Dallas Cowboys, guaranteed $65,000 in base salary to undrafted linebacker Brandon Magee, which had been the largest individual base salary guarantee given to an undrafted free agent this offseason. In 2012, the Cowboys guaranteed $205,000 in base salary to guard Ronald Leary.
With Bamiro's contract, the Eagles have blown both marks out of the water.
A source with knowledge of the situation has confirmed to "Shutdown Corner" that Bamiro received $247,100 in fully guaranteed base salary over the next two seasons. Bamiro will receive $140,000 in fully guaranteed base salary in 2013 and $107,100 in fully guaranteed base salary in 2014. The overall guarantee of $248,270 suggests that Bamiro was regarded as a late fourth-round or early fifth-round prospect. The final pick in the fourth-round in 2013 received a $300,584 signing bonus, while the first pick in the fifth-round was $215,512.
Bamiro will not have to wait until September to start getting paid, as the source adds that Bamiro received a $53,750 base salary advance.
The 6-foot-8, 335-pound Bamiro fell through the cracks this offseason after the NCAA ruled he was ineligible to play a fourth season at Stony Brook in 2013 because his five-year eligibility window had begun in 2008, which he spent at University of Pittsburgh, though he did not play football. The NFL denied Bamiro's request for eligibility in the supplemental draft, ruling that he should was eligible for selection in the April's entry draft.
Even with the relatively large financial commitment the Eagles have made to Bamiro, he is not expected to make an immediate impact. The Eagles have a perennial Pro Bowler at left tackle in Jason Peters and used the No. 4 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft on Oklahoma offensive tackle Lane Johnson. The Eagles also have offensive tackles Ed Wang, Dennis Kelly, Nate Menkin and Matt Kopa on the roster.