The three-year contract that Trent Green signed in Miami to facilitate his trade to Miami two weeks ago is worth substantially less than the three seasons that remained on his contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.
But there are some clear advantages, even with a disparity of more than $10 million between the values of the two contracts, for the 13-year veteran.
Most obvious is the fact that, with his new team, Green will retain his starter's status and can actually earn more in total compensation with the Dolphins in 2007 than if he had stayed with the Chiefs another year. And given the structure of the Miami deal, with palatable salary cap charges in each of the three seasons 2007-2009, it is conceivable that Green could play the entire term of the contract.
That certainly wasn't going to happen in Kansas City, where the Chiefs prefer to turn over the starting job to second-year veteran Brodie Croyle this year, and where club officials had requested that Green restructure a contract that called for him to make $24.1 million in the next three seasons.
For Green, the plusses in Miami, where his basic contract is worth $13.5 million for three years, outweighed the reduction in earning power.
According to league salary documents, Green received a $1 million signing bonus in his new, three-year contract with the Dolphins, and will earn a workout bonus of $100,000. His base salary for 2007 is $1.5 million. There is a $3.4 million roster bonus that represents more than half of Green's compensation for this season, and it is paid at a rate of $200,000 per week if Green is on the active roster. Assuming he is on the roster for all 17 weeks of the season, he will collect the entire $3.4 million, bringing his total compensation to $6 million.
Under his Kansas City contract, Green had a 2007 base salary of $7.2 million.
But Green will have the opportunity to top that $7.2 million if he collects on incentives and bonuses built into his Miami contract. Green can earn nearly $2.5 million in add-ons if he is the starter, returns to the form he exhibited until a head injury all but scuttled his '06 season with the Chiefs, and leads the Dolphins deep into the playoffs.
In 2008, Green, who will turn 37 next month before the start of training camp, has a base salary of $2.8 million and a $100,000 workout bonus. There is a $500,000 roster bonus that is payable at the rate of $29,412 for each week he is on the roster.
The final season of the contract, in 2009, calls for a $3.5 million base salary and a workout bonus of $100,000. Again, there is a $500,000 workout bonus, at $29,412 per week.
His contract in Kansas City was to have paid him $7.7 million in 2008 and $9.2 million in 2009, but Green would not have been around long enough to collect them.
Green's salary cap charges for the three seasons are $5.33 million in 2007, $3.733 million for 2008, and $4.433 million for 2009.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.