The New York Jets' busy offseason continues as the team recently retooled the contract of veteran wide receiver Brandon Marshall, acquired in a trade this offseason, per a league source. The maximum value of his amended pact is $26 million over the next three seasons, up from $24.3 million, including an additional $1.3 million in full guarantees.
Marshall was scheduled to earn up to $7.7 million this season in the form of a $7.5 million base salary and a $200,000 workout bonus, but his new deal includes a fully guaranteed base salary of $9 million for 2015, though his workout bonus has been eliminated.
Marshall's 2016 base salary compensation rose from $7.9 million to $9.5 million, which is guaranteed for injury only. Marshall's 2017 base salary was narrowed from $8.3 million (plus $200,000 more in the form of a workout bonus) to $7.5 million, with a $700,000 de-escalator clause for any Super Bowl victory during the years of the contract.
In sum, Marshall's new deal gives him the chance to earn $2.7 million more during the next two years, though he can earn $1 million less in 2017 than previously scheduled.
At the time of the trade, March 6, the Jets promised Marshall they’d sweeten his contract, a league source said, but they had to wait until at least May 22 to satisfy a league rule that prohibits re-working a player’s contract twice in a 12-month span. Marshall finalized an extension with the Chicago Bears on May 22, 2014. You may recall he actually signed the documents on live television, while appearing as a guest on “The View.”
That explains the timing. As for the rationale, the Jets believed they had to give him a raise because they were in a competitive situation. The Bears gave Marshall permission to talk to other teams, and there were multiple suitors. Therefore, he had some degree of leverage. It’s an unusual tactic, but not unheard of. For instance, the Jets gave new contracts to Thomas Jones and Kris Jenkins after trading for them in 2007 and 2008, respectively.
It's the latest in a string of transactions for the Jets, who also acquired quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and running back Zac Stacy in trades and signed cornerbacks Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie and Buster Skrine in free agency, amid other moves.
Marshall, 31, is coming off of a 61-catch season with the Bears in 2014.