Breaking down Pierre Thomas' contract

The numbers are in on the contract running back Pierre Thomas signed with the New Orleans Saints last week and they’re about what you’d expect. The Saints didn’t break the bank on a guy who figures to remain part of a rotating backfield, but they did give Thomas some rewards for past service with some long-term security.

The four-year deal averages $2.8 million per season. To give that some context, let’s go back and look at last year’s average-per-year amounts for all NFL running backs. Thomas’ new deal would rank No. 24 in the league, just behind Carolina’s Jonathan Stewart and slightly ahead of LaDainian Tomlinson and Fred Taylor.

The Saints didn’t give Thomas a signing bonus, but they structured the deal to include something similar. Thomas’ $640,000 base salary for this season is guaranteed, and he’ll also get a $2.7 million roster bonus. Unlike a lot of deals, this one isn’t back loaded. Thomas’ biggest salary-cap hit will come this year when his figure is $3.4 million.

In 2012, Thomas’ base salary will jump to $2.16 million and $860,000 of that is guaranteed. He also has a $100,00 workout bonus, and his cap figure will be $2.6 million.

In 2013, Thomas’ base salary will be $2.1 million. He’ll also have a $300,000 roster bonus and a $100,000 workout bonus. His cap figure will be $2.5 million.

In 2014, the base salary will be $2.5 million. Thomas has a $300,000 roster bonus and a $100,000 workout bonus. His cap figure will be $2.9 million.

The deal also includes escalators in each of the final three years that could boost Thomas’ base salaries.