With all of the talk around POD focused on either the labor situation or possible FA targets once the lockout is resolved I thought I would make a post that combines a little of both.
I'll use Nnamdi Asomugha as an example. Many believe he will be signed to a contract somewhere in the vicinity of $16M / year for 5 years. This equates to a total price of $80M for the entirety of the contract. Could a contract be structured so that he would make something like $30M in the first year (with no cap in place) and then $12M / year for the remaining 4 years (when there will presumably be a salary cap)? This would be a total price of $78M and I believe would be beneficial for both parties. For Nnamdi it would be more money in the first year which means if his skills decline (or becomes injury ridden) by the 4th or 5th year he would be much less likely to be cut late in the contract. This would be good for the Lions because when operating under a salary cap he would not be as much of a cap hit and there would be more money to sign other players.
I'm unsure if Ford would be willing to do something like this, or if there is some sort of contract regulation which does not allow contracts to be structured in this way. This could be a "trick" used on any free agents signed this year to make them financially happy yet not destroy a team's salary cap in the future.
Let me know what you think.