David White at the SF Chronicle is reporting that Javon Walker has drastically restructured his contract to reduce his cap charge for the Raiders.
Raiders wide receiver Javon Walker did a "major restructuring" of his contract, a league source familiar with the significantly reduced deal told The Chronicle this morning, allowing him to stay on the team for a second season and giving the Raiders much-needed cap relief.
For starters, Walker's $5 million roster bonus was eliminated -- well, sort of. Instead of a bonus, he'll get his adjusted base salaries guaranteed for the next two seasons against skill, injury and cap.
As far as average annual salary goes, Walker went from (potentially) $9 million a year to $3.2 million a year.
He makes $2 million in base salary this season and $2.6 million next season -- that accounts for all but $400,000 of his roster bonus. But be sure, he's losing serious money with slashed base salaries.
He was due $4 million this season and $6 million next season. He also will make $3.2 million in 2011 (instead of $8 million), $3.8 million in 2012 (instead of $10 million) and $4.4 million in 2013 (instead of $10 million).
Of course, those latter years were inflated to begin with and the Raiders were never going to keep him around at those costs.
The Raiders win because his cap number just plunged from nearly $10 million to $2 million this season. Walker wins, sort of, because he would not have likely made anything close to this on the market if the Raiders released him, which a source said they were ready to do if he did not agree to a restructured contract.
OK, enough with numbers.
Now, the Raiders need to see what they can squeeze out of Walker after a disastrous first season that netted 15 catches (with $12 million paid) and a trip to the Injured Reserve with ankle surgery.
This is excellent news and a win-win for both sides. Walker gets more money that his market value in the NFL, and the Raiders get some more wiggle room to bring in some free agents and have enough cap space left over for the draft.
I for one think that if Walker had been on the field during the last 6 weeks of the season we may have actually liked what we had seen. I hope he comes off of his ankle injury and can be productive for the Raiders in 2009.
Jerry McDonald has a great quote from John Herrera regarding this issue.
“This shows Javon’s loyalty and commitment to our football team,” senior executive John Herrera said Thursday. “He’s coming off a season where he was injured, but he’s been productive in the past and it’s not a stretch to think he could be back to that level.”
Awesome if it's actual loyalty - understandable if it was the realization that he'd be making squadoosh elsewhere.