NFL players negotiate their contracts based on prevailing trends.
That’s also the exact reason for Josh Allen‘s six-year, $258 million extension.
Likewise, Davante Adams signed a five-year, $141.25 million deal to join the Las Vegas Raiders.
Tyreek Hill saw that deal and demanded to become the highest-paid wide receiver.
The Kansas City Chiefs did not want to give in, clearing the path for the All-Pro wideout to join the Miami Dolphins, which eventually gave him a four-year, $120 million deal.
But of all the contracts that occurred this offseason, Deshaun Watson‘s will have the most significant impact because it’s 100% guaranteed.
Even if he gets injured or misses some games due to litigation, the Cleveland Browns will owe him $230 million for five years.
While fully-guaranteed contracts are the norm in the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball, a deal of that nature is unheard of in the NFL.
Teams would also like to protect their financial flexibility because of the sport’s violent nature, and they don’t want to commit a huge sum of money to a player who can’t contribute.
That’s why general managers and club presidents are stunned by the contract Cleveland gave Watson, as NFL reporter Dov Kleiman revealed.
The $230M fully guaranteed contract that Deshaun Watson signed "stunned GMs and club presidents", per @peter_king
Notes that Chiefs Patrick Mahomes’ contract is 19% guaranteed, #Bills Josh Allen’s is 39%.
Adds teams will try to ignore that contract in future negotiation. pic.twitter.com/682oHh6Qo8
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) April 4, 2022
Unfortunately, Watson’s deal will set a precedent in future negotiations.
A Landmark Deal In The NFL
Kleiman closed his tweet by citing Peter King, who said “teams will try to ignore that contract in future negotiations.”
However, agents will always cite this deal, especially if their client deserves a fully-guaranteed contract.
As it turns out, there’s a chance that Watson will end up earning more than Mahomes and Allen.
If that’s the case, are their agents knocking on the door of their respective teams to give them fully-guaranteed money?
They have the leverage to do so, and they have to thank Watson’s team for giving them that power.