Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick Contract Details (Preliminary)

Yesterday, Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post released some details on the extensions for both Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick. These details tell us much about the new contracts, and through them, I can take some guesses at some other contract features, with varying levels of confidence. I still cannot square the numbers perfectly on a few aspects, so please consider the contract tables you’ll see below as provisional, and subject to change should more precise information come in.

When you look at the contract tables I have constructed before, you will see several numbers highlighted in bold (Broncos) blue. These are the numbers that is speculation on my part, based upon the established numbers that O’Halloran has reported. Keep in mind that I could easily be wrong on any of these.

Courtland Sutton

O’Halloran reports that “[t]he new money for Sutton over the next year equates to $18 million”, and that $10.5 million of this will be in a roster bonus in 2022. To square the remaining money with the reported cap numbers, I am speculating that Sutton’s base salary in 2022 will be $1.5 million, and that he received a signing bonus of $6 million, prorated over five seasons at $1.2 million each. O’Halloran does not report Sutton’s 2025 base salary, but based on my signing bonus speculation, I am speculating that salary is $13.5 million.

As for the unusual $29,411 at the end of the 2023-2025 cap numbers, that number is 1/17th of $500,000. From this, I am speculating that Sutton has this amount in per game roster bonuses during these seasons. The $29,411 currently counting against the cap is the “likely to be earned” portion, based upon how many games he played in 2020, which (sadly) was one. Adding these per game roster bonuses also squares with O’Halloran’s report of a “three-year cash payout of $34.68 million”, although this is really over only the first two seasons of the extension. Sutton’s existing $2.183 million salary, the $6 million signing bonus, his 2022 compensation of $12 million, $14 million in 2023 base salary, plus $500,000 in per game roster bonuses would equate to $34.683 million.

If I am correct in my speculations, all of the new money would add up to $60 million even. However, reports have been consistent in that the total value is $60.8 million. I have yet to be able to square where that $800,000 could come from given the details provided.

Given that $800,000 caveat, Sutton’s contract table should look something like this:

SeasonBase SalaryProrated BonusRegular Roster BonusPer Game Roster BonusCap Number

Sutton’s reported guarantees of $34,848,994 contains some oddity to it. The unusual $848,994 at the end can be explained by guaranteeing his remaining seven game checks for this season (~$121,277 per week). Thus, that small portion is a guarantee on old money. The new money guarantee of $34 million should come via a $6 million signing bonus, $12 million in 2022 compensation that is highly likely to be fully guaranteed, and guarantee triggers on the entirety of his $14 million base salary in 2023, and $2 million on his 2024 salary. O’Halloran says these triggers are on “the fifth day of the league year”, but it is unclear which year that is. Whether it is 2022, 2023, or 2024 will go a long way to determine whether Sutton’s true full guarantees are $34 million, or whether they are $18 million or $32 million.

Tim Patrick

O’Halloran reports that “Patrick will also receive $3 million of his guaranteed money in the next two weeks”. This payment should be considered as a signing bonus that will be prorated over four seasons at $750,000 each. Such a signing bonus is also consistent with O’Halloran’s citing of an executive saying that “the Broncos would have a $750,000 “dead” cap hit if they cut Patrick after the ’23 season”.

Adding up this prorated signing bonus money with the reported base salaries, however, still leaves each of Patrick’s seasons $500,000 short of the reported cap numbers. Therefore, I am speculating that Patrick may have also received $500,000 in annual roster bonuses. I do not believe that these are per game roster bonuses, because Patrick missed a game in 2020, meaning the cap number would otherwise be reduced by that unusual $29,411 that is seen in Sutton’s cap numbers. A regular roster bonus would also explain Patrick’s guarantees, of which I’ll get to in a moment.

Adding that missing $1.5 million comes out to an even $30 million in new money, consistent with early reports, as follows:

SeasonBase SalaryProrated BonusRoster BonusCap Number

Patrick’s reported guarantees of $18.504 million also likely contains the same old money guarantee oddity as with Sutton. In Patrick’s case, since he extended before Sutton, he likely had eight game checks from this season left to be paid (instead of Sutton’s seven), which at $188,000 each come out to $1.504 million. Therefore, I am guessing that his new money guarantees are instead $17 million. These guarantees can be summed up via his $3 million signing bonus, his 2022 base salary of $8 million, $500,000 in a possible bonus Patrick is due in 2022, and the $5.5 million of base salary reported to vest to full on the fifth day of the 2022 league year. Parsimoniously, this would mean that Patrick only got $11 million in new money fully guaranteed at signing, but the trigger in March 2022 should practically up his guarantees to $16.5 million to $17 million, depending on the structure of the remaining $500,000 that I speculate could be a roster bonus.