It was reported as a one-year, $7.5 million deal. It’s not.
It’s a one-year deal with a base value of $5 million. However, the deal has readily achievable playing-time incentives of $1.5 million and tougher-to-achieve incentives worth another $1 million.
Per a source with knowledge of the deal, the contract pays a $3.5 million signing bonus. That’s significant given the financial rules of the pandemic. If games are missed, salary will be lost. The signing bonus, however, can’t be touched.
Ryan’s salary of $1.05 million, and he has another $500,000 in per-game roster bonuses.
The playing-time incentives are structured like this: $500,000 for participating in 60 percent of the snaps, $750,000 for 70 percent, $1 million for 80 percent, and $1.5 million for 90 percent. Last year, Ryan participated in 99 percent of the defensive snaps with the Titans, and he has missed only three games in his career.
The final $1 million in incentives will be a little harder to get: $500,000 for making the Pro Bowl and $500,000 for All-Pro. (He hasn’t achieved either in his seven-year career.)
So he has a good shot at earning $6.5 million, and it’s good that he gets $3.5 million up front. But it’s not, and shouldn’t be characterized as, a $7.5 million deal. Even though it was.