Miami Dolphins: Breaking Down Richie Incognito's New Three-Year Deal

Chris J. NelsonSenior Writer IMarch 9, 2011

Richie Incognito started 15 games at left guard and one at center for the Dolphins in 2010.
Richie Incognito started 15 games at left guard and one at center for the Dolphins in 2010.

The Miami Dolphins made the somewhat surprising move of re-signing offensive lineman Richie Incognito last week before NFL operations got put on hold, but little was revealed about the contract except the length of three years.

Here are how the base salaries for Incognito, who made $725,000 in 2010, break down in this new contract:

  • 2011:  $1.05 million
  • 2012:  $3.3 million
  • 2013:  $4 million

The signing bonus and other guaranteed money are still unknown, although based on these numbers, I'd guess he received between $1-2 million up front, which would make this a three-year deal in the $9-10 million range.

The interesting thing to not about these base salaries, however, is the significant jump they take from the first year to the second. This, to me, says that the contract is essentially another one-year audition.

After that time, the Dolphins will either be satisfied with Incognito as a starter, and keep him at a fairly reasonable starter salary the next two years, or they'll cut bait before 2012 and only be out what they paid him the year before.

Despite being the Dolphins' best interior lineman in 2010 due to Joe Berger and John Jerry's horrendous play, Incognito struggled mightily at left guard for much of the season. He is tentatively expected to move to center in 2010, but a starting job is far from assured and the Dolphins are likely to look to the draft and free agency for more help.

It is very unlikely the Dolphins would keep Incognito as a backup in 2012-13 at those salaries, so he'll have to prove himself once again if he wants to remain in Miami.

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Chris J. Nelson graduated with a degree in journalism from Georgia State University and currently works for Turner Sports in Atlanta. He operates his own Miami Dolphins website, The Miami Dolphins Spotlight, and he can be followed on Twitter here.