At first it appeared an eye-popper of a deal, a bust-the-bank proposition when the New York Jets reported they gave offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson a six-year, $60 million contract extension that supposedly guaranteed the former fourth overall pick a whopping $34.8 million.
So it appeared.
Leave it to Mike Florio, the former West Virginia lawyer who is now the emperor of NFL information on his ProFootballTalk.com website, to get to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Which brings us to the Ferguson deal with the Jets that surely got the undivided attention of Donald Penn and his agent, and perhaps those soccer-crazy owners of your Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the goodly Glazers.
Leave it to Florio, the consummate investigator, to get a look at the new Ferguson contract.
For his report today on ProFootballTalk.com, these are his revelations:
1. It isn't really a six-year deal, when all is said and done, it's a series of one-year deals.
2. There really isn't $34.8 million in guaranteed money, not if you read the fine print.
3. His D'Brickashawness will earn a measly $5.3225 million this coming season, hardly an amount that even the Glazers would stress over.
The "catch" in the Ferguson contract, per Florio's report, is that he'll have to basically survive each season injury free in order to avoid being dropped from the roster before the next year of his contract.
If he can get through the 2010 season injury free and with no drop-off in his skills, then his key date is February 15, 2011. On that day, he has to be deemed free of injury and still skillful to collect the $9.985 million for the 2011 season.
Same circumstances apply for 2012. If he were to suffer injury in 2011 or see his skills diminish, he would be gone before the February 15, 2012 date. If the team chooses to keep him, then he'd receive $7.25 million for 2013.
The Buccaneers could EASILY do the same thing with Donald Penn.
You see, once Florio READ the contract, like so many things in life, it was not what was reported or appeared to be at first glance.
So when you take all this into consideration, you have to ask yourself:
"Is someone from the Buccaneers moonlighting in the Jets front office?"