Breaking down Carl Nicks' contract

TAMPA, Fla. -- In sticking with their theme of signing big free agents without any signing bonuses, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are throwing $12.5 million at former New Orleans guard Carl Nicks in the first year of his contract.

Here’s the breakdown of Nicks’ contract:

He’ll earn $6.5 million in base salary this year and a $6 million reporting bonus. Nicks’ salary will top out at $12.5 million in 2013. His base salaries for 2012 and 2013 are fully guaranteed.

In 2014, Nicks’ salary will drop to $7 million. His salary will be $7.75 million in 2015 and will stay the same in 2016.