I’ve done a little more checking around and Barber’s contract is very simple, compared to a lot of other NFL deals. It’s worth a straight $4 million. There are no incentives or bonuses involved and Barber will count $4 million against the salary cap, assuming there is a labor agreement and a salary cap. For those keeping score at home, Barber’s deal puts the Bucs up around $63 million in money committed toward a 2011 salary cap. That’s still the lowest figure in the league.
But that number will expand (again, presuming there is a cap) because the Bucs plan to use restricted tags on guard Davin Joseph and several other players. Again, there’s uncertainty over this because the league is claiming franchise and restricted tags can be used, while the NFL Players Association is saying those tags aren’t valid without a new labor agreement.
Anyway, Barber’s contract is structured very differently than what he had in recent years, but the money comes out about the same. In 2008, 2009 and 2010, Barber had a $3 million base salary for each season. But he collected $700,000 in incentives in 2008 and $1.3 million in incentives in 2009. In 2010, Barber made an extra $1.35 million in incentives. While the new deal might represent a $350,000 cut from what Barber made last season, it basically averages out to be the same as what he’s been making the past three years.