Only $500K guaranteed in Guion deal

Weston Hodkiewicz
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Green Bay Packers nose tackle Letroy Guion (98) celebrates after the game against St. Louis Rams at Lambeau Field October 11, 2015.

The Green Bay Packers assumed little risk with the three-year deal they struck with defensive lineman Letroy Guion last week.

While the contract could be worth up to $11 million, the only guarantee Guion received was a $500,000 signing bonus, according to a league source with access to the NFLPA salary database. Every dollar he earns going forward will be determined by base salary, offseason bonuses and per-game roster bonuses.

Guion counts $3,516,666 against the Packers’ salary cap in 2016, $3,666,666 in 2017 and $3,716,666 million in 2018. If released, the 28-year-old defensive lineman would count only $500,000 in dead money in 2016, $333,333 in 2017 and $166,666 in 2018.

It’s another tactical move by the Packers to protect themselves in case Guion has another off-the-field incident like last February when he was arrested for felony possession of marijuana and possession of a firearm in the presence of committing a felony. Nearly half of Guion's contract from last season was tied up in per-game roster bonuses.

Guion was suspended three games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. It’s because of those three games that $150,000 of his $800,000 per-game roster bonuses for 2016 were deemed unlikely to be earned, meaning that portion of his contract counts only $650,000 against next year’s cap for the time being.

Guion’s contract calls for $250,000 roster bonuses on May 3 and Aug. 2 this year and a pair of $400,000 roster bonuses due on May 2, 2017, and the third day of the new league year. He’ll earn $50,000 for every game he’s on the game-day roster over the next three seasons and can earn up to $200,000 in workout bonuses in 2016 and 2017.

Guion will make $4 million in 2016 if he’s on the active roster for all 16 regular-season games and hits all of his offseason bonuses.

So the contract turned out quite favorable for Green Bay despite it initially looking like the Packers would be paying up for the ninth-year defensive lineman. Instead, Packers general manager Ted Thompson is betting on a motivated Guion on and off the field to hit all his markers.

Guion, who struggled with his switch to base end last season, likely will be moving back inside where he had a career year in 2014. He registered 32 tackles and 3½ sacks after starting nose tackle B.J. Raji was lost for the season to a torn biceps.

Guion's deal


Cash value: $4 million.

Salary-cap charge: $3,516,666.

Base salary: $2 million.

Signing bonus: $500,000.

Roster bonus (due May 3): $250,000.

Roster bonus (due Aug. 2): $250,000.

Roster bonus (per game): Up to $800,000 ($50,000 per game active on game-day roster).

Workout bonus: $200,000.


Cash value: $3.5 million.

Salary-cap charge: $3,666,666.

Base salary: $1.7 million with $250K Pro Bowl escalator.

Roster bonus (due on May 2): $400,000.

Roster bonus (due on third day of new league year): $400,000

Roster bonus (per game): Up to $800,000 ($50,000 per game active on game-day roster)

Workout bonus: $200,000


Cash value: $3.55 million

Salary-cap charge: $3,716,666

Base salary: $2.75 million with $250K Pro Bowl escalator

Roster bonus (per game): Up to $800,000 ($50,000 per game active on game-day roster)

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