By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Demaryius Thomas became the latest in a string of low-risk signings for the Patriots at wide receiver. Thomas has the greatest chance for reward and it’s reflected in his guaranteed money.
ESPN’s Field Yates first reported on Wednesday that Thomas got a $150,000 signing bonus from the Patriots in his free-agent deal. That’s a relative spike from the signing bonuses for fellow free-agent receivers Bruce Ellington ($25,000) and Maurice Harris ($90,000). This indicates that the Patriots give Thomas a much better chance to make the 53-man roster.
The MMQB’s Albert Breer later reported the full details of Thomas’ contract. Here’s how it breaks down:
New Patriots WR Demaryius Thomas' 1-year deal is HEAVY on "we'll see" type parameters ...— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 17, 2019
$150K to sign.
$150K reporting bonus.
$1.2 million base.
$1.406 million in per-game rosters.
$750K for 60 catches.
$750K for 800 yards.
$750K for 1000 yards.
$750K for 1200 yards.
According to arithmetic the base salary, per-game roster bonuses, signing bonus, and reporting bonus just about add up to a cap figure of $2.906 million. Yates reported it as $2,906,250.
The Patriots appear to view Thomas as a better bet than Ellington or Harris to become a factor in the offense. That makes sense, given his pedigree. But Thomas’ injury situation lands him on more even ground with the other two.
Thomas is recovering from a torn Achilles suffered on Dec. 23. So his availability for offseason activities, training camp, and the season lack certainty. An incentive-laden deal like this is likely the best he was going to get. If he earns every last dollar, he’ll get close to $6 million.
And if he does, that means he’s stayed healthy and become a big-time contributor in the Patriots offense. Getting to 1,200 yards is about as big a challenge as any for a receiver in New England. But if Thomas can prove he’s fully recovered from the Achilles injury and stay on the field, he has the best chance of all three free agents to get there.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.