New England Patriots long-snapper Joe Cardona was the final fifth-round pick in the NFL to sign his rookie contract. It is a four-year pact, as is customary for drafted rookies, but the deal has a slightly different look than most rookie contracts, likely tied to Cardona's potential service in the US Navy.
Specifically, Cardona's deal includes a signing bonus of $100,000, which is less than the $189,532 his draft slot calls for.
However, the contract also includes $100,000 more in roster bonuses that are tied to him being on the 53-man roster, injured reserve list or physically unable to perform list between 2015-17. This structure provides the team a bit of security in the event Cardona has to serve his Naval commitments, while it gives Cardona the upshot of earning more on his contract than either of the two players drafted in the two picks ahead of him.
It's a deal that is fair and reasonable for both sides.
Four years, $2.48 million, $100,000 guaranteed
Signing bonus: $100,000
Base salary: $435,000
Roster bonus: $17,500 to be earned if he is on the 53-man roster for any game, IR or PUP
Base salary: $525,000
Roster bonus: $37,500 to be earned if he is on the 53-man roster for any game, IR or PUP
Base salary: $615,000
Roster bonus: $45,000 to be earned if he is on the 53-man roster for any game, IR or PUP
Base salary: $705,000