Understanding Offset Language in NFL Contracts
If you’ve been following the NFL offseason at all, you may have heard the term “offset language” being thrown around. What is offset language, and why is it so important in NFL contracts? In this article, we’ll break down what offset language is and explain why it’s such a big deal for players signing new contracts. We’ll also take a look at some recent examples of players who have benefitted from having strong offset language in their contracts.
What is offset language nfl
Offset language is a clause in a player’s contract that stipulates how much of their guaranteed money they will still receive if they are released by the team before their contract expires. For example, let’s say a player has a four-year, $20 million contract with $10 million guaranteed. If that player is released after two years, they would still be owed the remaining $8 million of their guaranteed money. However, if that player had strong offset language in their contract, they would only be owed the remaining $2 million of their guaranteed money. In other words, the team would only be on the hook for the amount of money that the player would have earned had they stayed on the roster.
Why is offset language so important?
Offset language is important for two main reasons.
- First, it gives players more security in their contracts. If a player is released, they will still receive a portion of their guaranteed money. This can be helpful for players who are cut early in their careers and need to find a new team quickly.
- Second, offset language is important because it gives teams more flexibility when it comes to releasing players. If a player is released, the team will only have to pay them the amount of money that they would have earned had they stayed on the roster. This can be helpful for teams who need to make room under the salary cap or who want to sign a free agent.
How do teams and players negotiate offset language?
Offset language is typically negotiated between the team and the player’s agent. The team will usually try to include offset language in the contract so that they can recoup some of the guaranteed money if the player is released. The player’s agent will usually try to avoid offset language so that their client can receive the full amount of their guaranteed money.
What are some recent examples of offset language in NFL contracts?
There have been a few notable examples of offset language in NFL contracts over the past few years.
- In 2017, the New England Patriots released wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell after he missed all of the 2016 season with a knee injury. Mitchell’s contract included $170,000 in offset language, meaning that the Patriots only had to pay him $85,000 of his $1 million guaranteed salary.
- In 2018, the San Francisco 49ers released linebacker Reuben Foster after he was arrested on charges of domestic violence. Foster’s contract included $4.5 million in offset language, meaning that the 49ers only had to pay him $2.25 million of his $3 million guaranteed salary.
- In 2019, the Detroit Lions released defensive tackle Mike Daniels after he was injured for most of the season. Daniels’ contract included $7.8 million in offset language, meaning that the Lions only had to pay him $3.9 million of his $9 million guaranteed salary.
Offset language is an important part of NFL contracts. It gives players more security in their deal and allows teams to release them without having to pay the full amount of their guaranteed money. If you’re a fan of the NFL, make sure you’re familiar with offset language so you can understand how it affects your favorite team and players.