Raiders quarterback Matt Schaub’s contract renegotiation did far more than shuffle money. According to NFLPA documents obtained on Thursday morning, the veteran took a significant pay cut in exchange for fully guaranteed money in 2014 and a quicker path to free agency.
Schaub will make $8 million in 2014 under terms of a new deal officially signed on Wednesday. He’ll earn $4.5 million in fully guaranteed salary, with a $3.5 million signing bonus to be paid on March 31. He also has $3 million in incentives based upon playing time, the Pro Bowl and whether the Raiders make the postseason.
That’s a stark contrast to a $10 million base salary and $1 million roster bonus slated for 2014 under his old deal, which lasted through the 2016 season and included significant raises each year.
Schaub’s new deal eliminates the final year of the old contract. It now extends through 2015, when he is scheduled for a $5.5 million base salary earned he starts the 2015 regular season with the Raiders. That season also features an identical incentive structure to 2014.
If Schaub doesn’t fare well in 2014, the Raiders can release him without penalty.
If Schaub were cut by Houston instead of traded to Oakland on Friday, it’s uncertain how much he would’ve made on the open market. That may have prompted a restructure that helps the team and locks in a solid 2014 salary.
While the deal is certainly team friendly, Schaub could reach another longer-term deal if he returns to form over the next two seasons.
The Raiders maintain that Schaub is their long-term answer at quarterback, and they believe he can provide stability under center the team was lacking last year. If Schaub struggles for a second straight season, they can move on without difficulty.
Schaub's new deal gives the Raiders an additional $3 million in cap space.
According to the NFLPA website’s Thursday morning update, the Raiders have $12 million in salary cap space remaining.