Antonio Garay's Funky New Contract

Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers is sacked by defensive tackle Antonio Garay #71 of the San Diego Chargers. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

According to Kevin Acee (and confirmed by rotoworld), here are the terms of Antonio Garay's new two year contract with the San Diego Chargers:

  • 2012: $1.6 million
  • 2013: $5 million

This is apparently straight salary with no bonus money. That second year will never see the light of day. This two year $6.6 million deal is really a one year, $1.6 million rental. Even if Garay goes ham this season, he'll do it while platooning with Cam Thomas. There's no way anyone would pay a 33 year old NT $5 million to split playing time. Let's dig into the mechanics of what goes into making such a ridiculous deal.

What the Chargers get

The upside is if he's the 2010 Garay, he's worth it, and they can keep him without having to bid for him. The problem is that the odds of 2010 Garay returning without Luis Castillo at his side are nil; and only slight better with Castillo. The downside is the guaranteed headache next off-season. They will have to go through the "re-negotiate or be cut" cycle that they just did with Castillo. This isn't even a 2012 cap friendly deal because there is (apparently) no signing bonus.

What Garay's Camp Gets

Garay's agent gets to announce at a press conference that his client signed a $6.6 million dollar deal, even though he'll only ever see his 10% on the first $1.6 million. He will always have on his resume that he got a 32 year old journeyman a $6.6 million contract.

Garay himself gets no security past 2012, and could potentially be controlled right up until final cuts next year with nothing to show for it. The only logical explanation is that Garay's camp is banking on the team needing a NT so badly — or he will perform so well — that they "pick up his option." It's apparent that no team was willing to give him anything better for the first year, and they didn't want to go two years without the second one being worth his while to stay locked up. They must be thinking it's better to get cut and go to free agency than to settle for small money in the second year.

If I were Garay, I would have aimed for a second-year salary in the $2-$2.5 million range to at least make the Chargers actually think for a moment before dropping me next off-season.

What Chargers fans get

Hopefully we get an Antonio Garay that has his mind set on actually making that 2013 salary and forces John Pagano to bench Cam Thomas for two more years.

(Wonko and John Gennaro contributed to this story)

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