After the Detroit Lions re-signed safety Louis Delmas, it was a bit surprising to find out that his two-year deal is worth $9.465 million. That seems like a lot for a player who hasn't been able to consistently stay healthy, especially considering he's had so many knee problems.
As it turns out, there's a catch. Delmas will only make the full worth of his contract if he can stay healthy. Delmas' incentive-laden deal protects the Lions if he misses time again next season, and it is set to reward him for actually being on the field. From the Free Press' Dave Birkett:
Delmas, who has missed 13 games over the past two seasons because of knee injuries, got a $1-million signing bonus and has a minimum base salary of $715,000 this year, but he can earn another $1.75 million if he plays in all 16 games.
According to language in his contract, if Delmas plays 42% of the Lions’ defensive snaps this year, he’ll make an additional $109,375 for every game he’s on the 46-player game-day roster.
For 2014, Delmas is set to have a base salary of $5.5 million, and he's also due a $500,000 roster bonus. This could set him up to have a fairly notable cap hit in 2014 if he is able to hit the incentives in 2013. This would be a good problem to have, of course, as it would mean that he was able to stay healthy in 2013.
If Delmas once again proves that he can't stay healthy, the Lions will have the ability to move on before next season without losing a whole lot of money and cap space. The hope when he re-signed was that his deal would be based on him actually playing, so it's good to see that he did end up with an incentive-laden contract.