It didn’t take long for the Bengals to re-sign Brandon LaFell once free agency began.
After having a resurgent 2016 season, Cincinnati made it a priority to get LaFell locked up this offseason after signing him to a modest one-year deal last year. This time, LaFell scored a two-year deal that will more than quadruple his annual salary from 2016.
LaFell signed a two-year, $9 million contract with the Bengals, including $3.3 million guaranteed and an average annual salary of $4.5 million. In 2017, LaFell will have a base salary of $1.25 million, a roster bonus of $3.55 million, and a workout bonus of $200,000.
LaFell has a cap hit of $5 million, and his dead money value is $3.3 million if the Bengals were to cut him for whatever reason.
Looking at what LaFell made in 2016 compared to now, it’s great to see he got a nice pay raise after his career appeared to be trending downward when the Patriots cut him in early 2016. He became a big part of the Bengals’ offense and only figures to keep doing so for the next two years, even with youngsters Cody Core and Tyler Boyd rising.
That said, the Bengals structured this deal so that in the event those two young receivers pass LaFell by and cause his role to greatly diminish, he can be cut very easily in 2018 with no repercussions.
It’s unlikely that happens, but not having any of his 2018 contract guaranteed will help ensure LaFell doesn’t settle on what he’s done and skate by this season. He surely knows he could easily be cut again like he was in New England.
The deal was originally reported to be $10 million in total, but, it turns out to be $9 million with just $3.3 million guaranteed, which is a positive thing for the Bengals.
What do you think about LaFell’s new deal with the Bengals?