Clay Harbor's 2-year contract reflects Patriots' strong interest in him

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Taking a closer look at the two-year contract signed by tight end Clay Harbor with the New England Patriots, while analyzing what it means for the player and team:

Terms: 2 years, maximum value of $4 million

Signing bonus: $400,000


Base salary: $900,000

Roster bonus: $200,000 ($12,500 per game on 46-man game-day roster)

Incentives (playing time): $500,000

Salary cap charge: $1.287 million


Base salary: $1.1 million

Roster bonus-1: $200,000 ($12,500 per game on 46-man game-day roster)

Roster/option bonus-2: $200,000 (due first day of 2017 league year if on the 90-man roster)

Incentives (playing time): $500,000

Analysis: This deal comes in higher than I anticipated. To me, it reflects how the Patriots had strong interest in Harbor and believe he can help them as a Swiss-army type option on offense ("move" tight end, fullback etc.). Another way to look at it is that the Patriots are only on the hook for the $400,000 signing bonus, which is just $50,000 less than what receiver Reggie Wayne received last year (he was released before the end of the preseason), so it doesn't necessarily make Harbor a lock for a roster spot. While the pact is for two years, a key marker comes in the form of a $200,000 bonus that is due on the first day of the 2017 league year if Harbor is on the 90-man roster.