Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
A couple weeks ago, we explained that some league insiders were scratching their heads about how the salary-cap strapped Pittsburgh Steelers worked out a massive six-year, $51.175 million contract with Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison this offseason.
Finally, the AFC North blog has the details.
Here are the key points:
Harrison received a $10-million signing bonus up front and a $2.555-million roster bonus for this year.
Harrison's base salary in 2009 is $800,000.
In 2010, which could be an uncapped year, the contract gets tricky as Harrison's base salary drops to $755,000. But he also has a reporting bonus of $2.8 million.
In 2011, Harrison's salary jumps to $3.66 million and includes $900,000 roster bonus.
In years four, five and six Harrison's salary balloons to $5.315 million, $6.32 million and $7.325 million, respectively.
Our analysis of Harrison's contract is he will be a Pittsburgh Steeler for at least the next three years. Once year four comes around, Harrison will be a 35-year-old linebacker, and the team will have to gauge his level of play at that point versus the increasingly high salary.