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Breakdown of C J.C. Tretter’s contract with the Browns

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Green Bay Packers Mini Camp Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

The full, year-by-year contract details for Cleveland Browns C J.C. Tretter are now available, via multiple sources. We will take a look at the structure of his contract, such as his base salary, guaranteed money, and cap hits. Tretter’s deal is considered to be 3 years for $16.75 million with $6.5 million fully guaranteed.

C J.C. Tretter’s Contract, Cap Hits Per Year

Year Base Salary Signing Bonus Roster Bonus Workout Bonus Total Cap Hit
Year Base Salary Signing Bonus Roster Bonus Workout Bonus Total Cap Hit
2017 $2,000,000 $1,500,000 $109,375 $0 $3,609,375
2018 $4,500,000 $1,500,000 $250,000 $0 $6,250,000
2019 $5,000,000 $1,500,000 $250,000 $0 $6,750,000
Total $11,500,000 $4,500,000 $609,375 $0 $16,609,375
  • We said that Tretter has $6.5 million fully guaranteed. That includes his $2 million base salary in 2017, and his $4.5 million signing bonus (which is prorated to $1.5 million per year against the cap).
  • Tretter also has $3.5 million of his base salary in 2018 guaranteed for injury. So, let’s say that he tears his ACL this year, and Cleveland decides to cut him next year before free agency while he has the injury. He would get that $3.5 million.
  • Let’s assume that Tretter is healthy for free agency in 2018. On the 3rd day of the 2018 league year, that aforementioned $3.5 million becomes fully guaranteed. So if Tretter ends up being terrible in 2017, Cleveland would have to make a decision next year whether to commit that money to him or not.
  • You’ll notice that we called it a 3-year, $16.75 million deal, but the table only goes up to $16.61 million. That is because for the life of the contract, Tretter will earn a $15,625 roster bonus for each game he plays in. If he plays an entire 16-game season, that comes out to $250,000, which is what you see in 2018 and 2019. The reduced amount in 2017 is because of how “likely to be earned” bonuses are calculated — they are based on the number of games from the previous season. Tretter played 7 games last year, and 7 * $15,625 = $109,375 that counts against the cap. If he plays the entire season, then a salary cap adjustment would be made as the new league year begins in 2018.
  • According to Pro Football Talk, there is an annual $500,000 escalator available in Tretter’s contract that is tied to playing time.

On average, the $5.58 million per year makes Tretter the 10th-highest paid center in the NFL, well below what it would’ve cost to retain C Alex Mack a year ago. The Browns found the right sweet spot to not overpay a center with a lot of upside while not committing too many years to him.