Today I am examining a possible contract extension for starting left guard Brandon Brooks. Houston has a history of trying to lock up their core players in the offseason prior to the player’s final contract year (Watt, Cushing, Mercilus). Before we get started I would like to include my opinion that I do not think Brooks will accept a contract extension at this time. Brooks is a rising star amongst offensive linemen, and his stock has been skyrocketing every year. I believe that he will play out the final year of his contract in hopes of scoring on a big contract as he approaches free agency in 2016. But for the sake of this article, we will assume that Brooks accepts a contract extension prior to the final year of his current contract.
In 2015 Brooks is scheduled to earn $1,539,000 in base salary pay, from his initial 4 year rookie contract. Brooks reached the PPE threshold based on playing time in the previous 3 seasons, to raise his salary from $660,000 to the $1,539,000 number. Learn about PPE bonuses here. As we did in the Kareem Jackson contract projection article I have reviewed other contracts in the last 3 years for the same position (including both LG & RG); and I have referred to ProFootball Focus grading for 2014. According to PFF, Brandon Brooks graded out as the 8th best guard in the NFL during the 2014 season.
Brooks was active for all 16 games during the 2014 season. He also played every available offensive snap in 15 of those 16 games. Brooks was active for all 16 games and all offensive snaps during the 2013 season as well. During Brooks’ 3 year career he has demonstrated the ability to stay healthy throughout the season. Brooks will turn 26 during the preseason in August. Given Brooks’ age, I am thinking his camp will take no more than a 4 year extension in hopes of hitting on a bigger third contract when he is turning 31 and becoming a free agent again. Due to the NFL rookie wage scale the second contract for an NFL player is an important contract.
Contracts signed in the past 3 years have been 4 or 5 year contracts with totals ranging from $20.8 million to $35.5 million. The guarantee amounts are one key factor to look at and they are all over the place starting at $5.5 million to $15.75 million.
Two examples of top Right Guard contracts (via Over The Cap):
Marshall Yanda with Baltimore Ravens
Roger Saffold with St. Louis Rams
Based on the recent activity in the guard market, we will make our prediction at as possible contract extension.
Prediction: 4 year extension worth $25,000,000 that includes $12,000,000 in fully guaranteed money.
The guaranteed amount does not include any 2015 salary money. When published, the agent will likely include the 2015 salary to inflate the numbers to a 4 year extension worth $26.5 million with $13.5 million in guaranteed money. Despite Brooks healthy career, Houston will likely include $500,000 worth of yearly roster bonuses, to be paid out at $31,250 per game Brooks is on the 46 man active roster. This contract extension would increase Brooks’ cap charge for 2015 by $2 million; so there is a chance that the team would adjust the 2015 base salary amount to limit the cap charge. The 2015 & 2016 base salaries would be fully guaranteed at time of the contract signing. For the breakdown I will leave the 2015 numbers unadjusted to avoid any confusion:
|Year||Salary||SB||RB||Cap Hit||Dead Money||Cap Savings|
Houston locking down Brandon Brooks for the next 5 years would allow the team to have 3 key offensive line players under contract through the 2019 season. The team also has 2nd year player Xavier Su’A Filo under contract through the 2017 season.
What are your thoughts on this type proposed contract extension for Brandon Brooks? Let me know in the comment section below.