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Hatcher’s contract good for both Redskins, player

Mar 15, 2014, 9:43 AM EDT

Hatcher-intro

It looks like both the player and the team got what they wanted from the contract that Jason Hatcher signed with the Redskins on Friday. Hatcher gets a good chunk of money up front and the team gets the ability to escape the contract in a couple of years with minimal pain.

The top-line numbers are $27.5 million over four years but as anyone who follows the NFL closely knows the devil is in the details. And, as noted, the details have something good for Hatcher and the Redskins.

The contract has $10.5 million in guaranteed money and it’s fully guaranteed. In fact, Hatcher probably already has the $9 million signing bonus sitting in his bank account. His $1.5 million salary for this year is also guaranteed.

After that, there are no guarantees, no option or roster bonuses, no other complexities to the contract. Hatcher has non-guaranteed salaries of $3 million next year ($5.25 million cap hit), $6.5 million in 2016 ($8.75 million cap), and $7.5 million in 2017 ($9.75 million cap).

The absence of guarantees after the first year is a reflection of Hatcher’s age. He will be 32 before training camp starts. If in 2016 the Redskins don’t think they want to pay a player entering his age 34 season $6.5 million they would be able to release him while taking a very manageable dead cap hit of $4.5 million and they would be saving $2 million in cap charges (his salary minus the dead cap hit).

If that happens, Hatcher will ride into the sunset having made $13.5 million for two years of work. Not bad for a guy who just finished making $6 million over the last three years.

If they hang on to him for another year, they will have $2.25 million in dead cap to deal with if he’s cut in 2017.

Hatcher will have to be at or near his Pro-Bowl level of performance this year and pretty good next season to make the deal worthwhile. There is good reason to think that he will but with any free agent (or with any player in any situation, for that matter), you never know.

  1. kenlinkins - Mar 15, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    I just read where Hatcher said the Redskins are going to move him around the D-Line trying to find one on one for him. If true this is a good idea as most of our D-Linemen are the “Hit and Hold” types, waiting to read and react. If they can use the “TWO GAP” style for Jenkins and Jenkins, Cofield and Bowen (if they are still here) maybe Baker and Hatcher will have another good year getting to the QB. I like it so far.

  2. internetcareer - Mar 15, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    any way you look at this deal it is nothing compared to the Haynesworth deal. I said it the other day…this is a 2 year deal with a 4.5 million cap hit over the last 2 seasons and that can be divided up it they release him after june 1 in 2016. So in effect…a TWO year contract with a 2 MILLION cap hit over the final 2 years. and there is always the chance that he plays at a high level for the next 3 seasons. Fletcher played until 37. Bruce Smith was here until 36. There is every reason to think that Hatcher may be able to be dominant thru age 33 and possible even be very good at age 34. no worries here.

    • cowboyhater - Mar 15, 2014 at 4:26 PM

      …exactly, plus everyone has to understand that he is not your typical 32 year old player. Last year was his first year as a full time starter, which means his body has not been through the wars that a typical 32 year old vet has gone through.

  3. shermanp79 - Mar 15, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    That really is a good contract. It looks like they know what they are doing!! I was worried about his age but I can’t complain about a thing with this deal. They can keep him for as long as he is productive. I still want them to draft a guy this year. I think they still need that true NT guy. It would be great if they could grab Hagerman? from Minnesota or Urban from Virginia. I know the latter would be an end but at 6-7 and 300lbs he could take over after Hatcher. I know Geathers only signed a 1 year deal but he could do the same. I am thinking they are going to TC with Bowens and see what his health is then or is there a chance he is let go before then? I don’t think it matters with his deal if they do it then. This way they get to see him in pads. We have a good rotation of guys right now and if find that big NT that stuffs the run I think the DL is so much stronger. I wonder what happens with Golston and Neild? How many DL guys will they carry?

  4. darrynhyman - Mar 15, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    Rich…what determines the amount of the dead cap hit? Also, the yearly cap hits are 2.25 mil over that year’s salary, 2.25 doesn’t equal the 10.5 over 4 years…how is that amount calculated?

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 15, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      Dead cap is the amount of the signing bonus that has not yet been charged to the cap. So in this case if you terminate the player’s contract halfway through and he has a $9 million signing bonus, the dead cap is $4.5 million.

      The $1.5 million is his 2014 salary, that will be charged to this year’s cap. It’s guaranteed but that just means they have to pay it even if they cut him. Of course, that would be very foolish so the guarantee is just a formality.

  5. darrynhyman - Mar 15, 2014 at 7:31 PM

    Sorry for my late response Rich…but I appreciate the breakdown & explanation

  6. colmac69 - Mar 15, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    Think its a win win for both player and team….skins are quietly going bout their business in correct manner…

  7. redskinscaio - Mar 16, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    Chances are, the Redskins will release Hatcher after next season because he will command almost 10 million in cap space, so when they cut him, there will be 4.5 million dollars in dead cap money in the 3rd year and more in the fourth year, which is why this contract is not very good. Why can’t we sign guys to appropriate contracts? If we expect him to play two years, then sign him to a two year contract! What are the chances he will play for 4 years? Not very good. The Redskins are the champions of signing guys to long term deals and then cutting them before the contract is fulfilled, creating tons of dead cap money.

    GM 101, when giving out a contract, assign the amount of years that player will probably play for. The Redskins keep digging themselves into a bigger and bigger hole. It’s so frustrating. So three years from now, there’s 4.5 million dollars they can’t use to sign other players, players that could add depth, players that could play outstanding special teams, etc. I don’t know who is worst at this, Jerry Jones or Bruce Allen

    • redskinscaio - Mar 16, 2014 at 6:14 PM

      And if you think that 4.5 million is not that much, think again, because one-fourth of the team will probably be cut and not play to the entire contract, so one has to add up all the dead cap money from ALL the players. In case you were wondering, this is why the Redskins got hit with the 35 million dollar penalty, they signed guys to long contracts, then cut them before the contract was up.

      • Rich Tandler - Mar 16, 2014 at 7:58 PM

        And that’s not why the Redskins got the cap penalty. It was for redoing the contracts of Albert and DeAngelo so it dumped most of the cap hit in the uncapped year. Had nothing do to with cutting players.

        • redskinscaio - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:52 PM

          Didn’t Albert sign a 7 year 100 plus million dollar contract? And how long did he play for? Was it 2 or 3 years?

        • redskinscaio - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:55 PM

          What are u talking about?! It had EVERYTHING to do with players, their contracts and being cut.

        • redskinscaio - Mar 18, 2014 at 11:04 PM

          I can’t believe you just wrote that the cap penalty had NOTHING to do with cutting players! It had something to do with cutting players. And anyway, it is what it is, and the GM is responsible for players and their salaries. SO it was the gm of the Redskins whose responsibility it is and was to handle the Redskins’ salary cap and the players’ contracts. Therefore if the Redskins had a better GM at the helm, that penalty would not have happened. I love the SKins, but it’s so frustrating when they keep shooting themselves in the foot, year after year……

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 16, 2014 at 7:35 PM

      They’re going to cut him after a year, really? Your dead cap numbers are way off but I won’t bother correcting them because it’s an unlikely scenario.

      > >

      • redskinscaio - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:54 PM

        I said they will probably cut him on year 3, re read my post. And if the dead cap money figure I used is way off, then that’s on you Rich, cause I got that information from your article. This is what you wrote, and I quote, “If in 2016 the Redskins don’t think they want to pay a player entering his age 34 season $6.5 million they would be able to release him while taking a very manageable dead cap hit of $4.5 million and they would be saving $2 million in cap charges (his salary minus the dead cap hit).”

        Those are your words Rich.

        • redskinscaio - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:59 PM

          Rich, I said there is a good chance the SKins will cut him, not this season, not next season, but the one after that, which makes it the 3rd season. And once again, you wrote that if the Skins cut him on year 3, the Skins would suffer a dead cap hit of 4.5 million. is that not what you wrote in the article?

  8. redskinscaio - Mar 16, 2014 at 6:15 PM

    4.5 million dollars can get a team a Pro Bowl caliber field goal kicker, or punter! Come on Bruce, let these guys walk if they want too many years.

    • redskinscaio - Mar 16, 2014 at 6:17 PM

      Stop mortgaging the future.

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