Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald was the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history. For a day.
1. Signing bonus: $34 million. (Donald got $40 million.)
2. 2018 base salary: $7 million, fully guaranteed at signing.
3. 2019 roster bonus: $4 million, fully guaranteed at signing.
4. 2019 base salary: $11.3 million, fully guaranteed at signing.
5. 2020 roster bonus: $3.7 million, fully guaranteed at signing.
6. 2020 base salary: $13.3 million, guaranteed for injury at signing. Fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2019 league year.
7. 2021 base salary: $17.046 million, $16 million of which is guaranteed for injury at signing. It converts to a full guaranteed on the third day of the 2020 league year.
8. 2022 roster bonus: $5.5 million, due on the third day of the league year.
9. 2022 base salary: $12.05 million, non-guaranteed.
10. 2023 roster bonus: $5.5 million, due on the third day of the league year.
11. 2023 base salary: $17.2 million, non-guaranteed.
12. 2024 roster bonus: $5.5 million, due on the third day of the league year.
13. 2024 base salary: $17.55 million, non-guaranteed.
14. Annual roster bonuses from 2019-24 of $200,000.
This equates to a full guarantee at signing of $60 million. By March 2019, $73.3 million will be fully guaranteed. By March 2020, $90 million will be fully guaranteed.
It’s a six-year, $141 million extension. That’s a new-money average of $23.5 million. (Donald’s deal has a new-money average of $22.5 million.) In all, it’s a seven-year, $154.846 million deal. That’s a total average at signing of $22.12 million.
None of this means Donald did a so-so deal. His payday was historic, and in many respects it laid the foundation for Mack’s deal to get done in Chicago.
But when it comes to average value at signing and as to new money (along with total guarantee), Mack likely will hold this record among all defensive players for more than a day. Eventually, however, Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa may be the one to surpass it.