After further investigation of the contract it looks as if Anderson received a roster bonus rather than a signing bonus as initially reported which makes his first year salary cap number to be $6 million.
This means that Anderson’s contract breakdown looks like this:
This also means that the Broncos are butted up to the brink of their salary cap, with only around $1.65M of current space under OTC’s numbers. That’s the second lowest to only (surprise, surprise) the Saints.
First of all, this helps dispel some of the earlier questions as to whether the Dolphins should have made it more difficult for the Broncos to match the offer sheet that they agreed upon with Anderson. Giving Anderson’s guaranteed money to him in the form of a roster bonus is indeed the way to frontload a contract in order to discourage a team from matching, and it certainly makes sense to see this development emerge.
Second, while it does put the Broncos in a short term crunch capwise, it does give them some flexibility down the road. On one hand, if they need some 2016 cap relief for whatever reason, they could decide to convert a portion of Anderson’s roster bonus into a signing bonus, immediately giving both the Broncos cap space and Anderson some cash in his wallet. But on the other hand, if the Broncos are willing to take the entire $6 million cap hit in 2016, from 2017 it will turn Anderson’s contract much closer to a “pay as you go deal” that will incur little to no dead money if the Broncos choose to cut him.