Bill Barnwell ESPN Staff Writer
Le'veon Bell's deal doesn't have the sort of practical guarantees Todd Gurley got from the Rams, even though Gurley was still two years away from unrestricted free agency when he signed his deal. Gurley's guarantees $21.95 million up front, but the Rams would owe $21.8 million in dead money if they had cut Gurley before today, which was never going to happen, given that the cap hit for Gurley to stay on the roster in 2019 is only $9.2 million.
As of today, Gurley's 2019 base salary ($5 million), 2020 base salary ($5.5 million), and roster bonus ($7.55 million) all become fully guaranteed. Add that up and Gurley has $40 million practically guaranteed by the structure of his deal over three years.
Bell's deal guarantees more money at signing on paper. At the time he signs his deal, Bell gets a $8 million signing bonus, and his 2019 base salary ($2 million), 2019 roster bonus ($4.5 million), 2020 base salary ($6.5 million), and 2020 roster bonus ($5 million) are all guaranteed in full. That's a total of $26 million.
After that, though, the Jets have no further guarantees to Bell. Bell could make $13.5 million through his base salary and roster bonus in 2021, but the Jets could also cut him and owe just $4 million. In reality, Gurley's deal is a three-year, $40-million contract, while Bell's deal is a two-year, $26-million pact.