The Browns got Trent Richardson signed last night and it was a cakewalk compared to the process with Brandon Weeden. Because Richardson was picked as high in the draft as he was, there really wasn’t much choice but to guarantee all four years of his contract. Brandon Weeden on the other hand is 28 years old and was picked 22nd overall. The fourth year isn’t quite as much of a foregone conclusion.
Lane Adkins of The OBR is reporting that the Browns are trying to be creative with the bonus structure so as not to guarantee the fourth year.
Browns offering roster bonus to circumvent guaranteeing fourth year to Weeden
— Lane Adkins (@LaneAdkins) July 24, 2012
These roster bonuses usually have timing in favor of the player so that the team is put to a decision with enough time for the player to find a new home should they be cut. For example, if there’s a March 1st roster bonus due, that means Brandon Weeden would be cut loose before the draft and early enough in the off-season to increase his likelihood of finding another job.
Presuming all that comes to pass and the Browns cut Weeden before his fourth year, he’ll likely be looking for a backup QB gig, which Seneca Wallace has proven can still be lucrative. He got $9 million over three years from the Browns.
We’ll see if Weeden’s reps go for the roster bonus or whether they’ll hold out for the fully guaranteed fourth year.