Neither team is revealing the details of the offer sheet, but it has been reported that the offer, which Weber signed last night, is worth $110 million over 14 years.
Most of the information on the offer sheet has come from TSN.ca’s Darren Dreger, who reported that the deal is incredibly front-loaded, offering Weber $68 million in bonus dollars in the first six years. Even more daunting for the Predators, who have seven days to match or pass on the offer sheet, is the fact that $26 million will be heading Weber’s way in the first 11 months of the deal.
Weber’s agent Jarrett Bousquet spoke to TSN Radio about the Flyers’ offer and how things got to where they stand today, pointing at Ryan Suter’s deal with the Minnesota Wild as the contract that essentially reset the market for top-level defensemen.
Bousquet said the Suter deal gave Weber the opportunity to take his time to look at different offers and in the end, after listening to several offers, “Philly seemed to be the best fit.”
When pushed on if he wanted the Predators to not match the deal, at first Bousquet stepped around the question, but did admit:
Should the Predators match the Flyers' offer?
"I don’t think you sign an offer sheet unless you’re pointing in that one direction, so, to answer your question, it’s really up to them (Nashville). He’d like to play with the Flyers, because we all feel that he’s just another piece in the puzzle to take them to the next level and he doesn’t want to go through a rebuilding process again."
That statement seems to send a clear message to the Predators and that message is that Weber doesn’t have much of an interest in playing for the Predators for one year, let alone the 14-year term of the deal.
The statement from Weber’s agent also allows the Nashville ownership group an out. They can easily paint Weber as the villain here, using the words of his agent to show the fans that he had no interest in being a Predator. The question now is, will the Predators exercise that out?
In the big picture, the Predators seem to be in a lose-lose situation. They can match the Flyers’ offer, which will mean they sign Weber to the 14-year deal at what the Flyers offered him or they can let him go in exchange for draft picks.
They lose if they match the offer because they will be unable to trade Weber for a year, meaning they will be on the hook for at least the $26 million he's owed in the first year of the contract.
If you don’t think that’s a big deal, remember that the team submitted $4.75 million as the number they wanted to pay Weber during arbitration last year. Also consider that, according to CapGeek.com, Nashville spent a little over $52 million total in contracts last season.
The clock is ticking on the Predators, and it will be interesting to see how this one plays out over the next week.