Of course, as with any contract situation, money is going to be a major factor. I mentioned that John Dorsey doesn’t give out big contracts to guys with injury issues. So it’s hard to believe he’ll make an exception here without Fisher showing that he can both play at a high level and stay healthy.
However, he will get some kind of a contract offer, as the previously mentioned released linemen did. So let’s take a look at what the offensive tackle market has produced this offseason:
Michael Oher – Panthers – 3 years at $21.6 million/$13 million guaranteed:
Something in this range is my ideal contract structure for Eric Fisher. It would make him a top 15 paid offensive tackle, while also allowing him the opportunity to sign another contract in his 20s.
That pays fairly for what we’ve seen and what we hope for, while also allowing him the opportunity to cash in on a big deal if he does improve and stay healthy.
Oher has a career that has largely been mimicked by Eric Fisher thus far. He came into the league with high expectations (though those expectations were inflated due to a movie about his life), but largely failed to meet those expectations. He’s also dealt with some injury issues during his career that have set him back.
Those factors really make this a very comparable contract situation. That plays well for the Chiefs.
Russel Okung – Broncos – 5 years at $53 million/$0 guaranteed…1 year deal unless option picked up at end of season:
Russell Okung started his career as one of the best young offensive tackles in the NFL. However, injuries have taken their toll, and he hasn’t been able to regain that success.
That shouldn’t be taken as he’s been terrible recently, he hasn’t. He just hasn’t been as advertised in the last couple of years. This created a situation where the Seahawks simply weren’t going to keep going on the hope that “this is the year he gets it back”. However, the Broncos were apparently ready to make that bet, albeit with some caveats to protect themselves should he continue to not be the player hoped for.
Okung signed an interesting deal. When looked at with just a passing glance, most would think it was a $10 million per year deal. However, when you look into it further, there are a lot of caveats. For starters, all of the bonus money is dependent upon Okung being on the roster for at least one game. If he is cut in the preseason, he’s just out of luck.
On top of that, the Broncos managed to work in an “option clause” where they can decide at the end of the year whether to retain him or not. If Okung plays one season and is not picked up, he only gets $5 million (assuming he meets performance bonuses). Beyond this year, the contract becomes a four-year deal at $48 million…which many believe the Broncos have no interest in picking up.
This would actually be kind of an ideal situation to sign Fisher to, but it’s also the exact reason why players hire agents…so that they don’t allow themselves to get screwed like this. Don’t expect Drew Rosenhaus to agree to anything even close to this.
Next: A KC Comparison