Complete contract details, salary cap breakdown for new Cardinals OT Jonah Williams

The initial report of the contract agreement with Arizona Cardinals tackle Jonah Williams was actually accurate, although key aspects of the deal’s structure were left out.

That’s often the case with initial reports that are incomplete and often misleading because national “insiders” are doing the bidding of agents, who group text them with details they want out and the reporters scurry to get it on Twitter as fast as their fingers can move. They don’t ask questions about the full guarantees or what is necessary for a player to reach incentives in many “up-to” reports where incentives inflate the base value.

It’s a clear quid pro quo and it has now reached the level of naming the agents with their Twitter handle in those tweets.

Back to Williams. It is true that he signed a two-year, $30 million contract with $19 million guaranteed. However, the Cardinals could move on following the 2024 season and save money against the cap in 2025. That would still be a nice payday, but it’s not $30 million.

Here’s how it works.

Jonah Williams contract and salary detauls

The contract actually has $21.5 million of potential guarantees, including a $14 million signing bonus, but $2.5 million of his 2025 salary is guaranteed for injury only at signing and becomes fully guaranteed if he’s on the roster on the fifth day of the 2025 league year.

The base salaries are $2.5 million guaranteed this year and $10.78 million in 2025, of which another $2.5 million is guaranteed at signing. Each year has a possible $510,000 in per-game ($30,000), active-roster bonuses plus $100,000 in offseason workout bonuses.

In 2025, there is also a $1.5 million roster due on the fifth day of the league year.

Salary cap details

The Cardinals structured the contract so the cap charge this year would be only $6.61 million, but it jumps to $16.39 million in 2025. That’s because two void years are included, allowing the $14 million signing bonus to be prorated over four years ($3.5 million per year) instead of two ($7 million per year).

So, if the Cardinals decide to release Williams prior to the fifth day of the 2025 league year, the compensation for that year would go away except for the $2.5 million guaranteed at signing. They would have to accept $13 million of dead money against the cap for the remaining signing bonus proration, but that would still result in saving $3.39 million against the cap.

Surely, the Cardinals hope Williams plays at a high level this season, which could lead to a restructured contract extension. But if he doesn’t, the team is protected.

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Story originally appeared on Cards Wire