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Examining The Keenan Lewis Contract Restructure and Cap Implications

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Keenan Lewis and the Saints have restructured his contract, basically saving cap dollars in 2015 and 2016 by adding to 2017.

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A new contract for Keenan Lewis displays the fact that sometimes it may pay to complain. The Saints have granted Keenan's request by guaranteeing $10,300,00 of his contract. Not an increase of any earnings, the moves provide minimum cap relief in 2015, $350,000, slightly more in 2016, $950,000 while pushing the 2017 cap hit from, $7,800,000 to $9,100,000.

A few incentives in the new contract have the potential to increase Lewis' earnings, put the biggest factor was the guaranteed dollars for Keenan.

Full restructure details courtesy of Spotrac:

Keenan Lewis signed a 5 year / $25,550,000 contract with the New Orleans Saints, including a $6,000,000 signing bonus, $10,300,000 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $5,110,000. In 2015, Lewis will earn a base salary of $850,000, a restructure bonus of $3,900,000 and a workout bonus of $50,000. Lewis has a cap hit of $4,500,000 while his dead money value is $17,350,000.

CONTRACT:5 yr(s) / $25,550,000 SIGNING BONUS$6,000,000 AVERAGE SALARY$5,110,000 GUARANTEED:$10,300,000 FREE AGENT:2018 / UFA
Year Base Salary Signing Bonus Roster Bonus Workout Bonus Restruc. Bonus Cap Hit Dead Cap
2013 Contract details by year $1,000,000 $1,200,000 - $50,000 - $2,250,000 $10,350,000
2014 Contract details by year $1,000,000 $1,200,000 - $50,000 $1,100,000 $3,350,000 $9,250,000
2015 Contract details by year $850,000 $1,200,000 - $50,000 $2,400,000 $4,500,000 $17,350,000
2016 Contract details by year $2,700,000 $1,200,000 - $50,000 $2,400,000 $6,350,000 $12,900,000
2017 Contract details by year $4,750,000 $1,200,000 $700,000 $50,000 $2,400,000 $9,100,000 $6,600,000
2018 Free Agent Year UFA
Contract Notes:
  • Annual Workout Bonus: $50,000
  • 2014 Base reduced from $3.3M
  • 2015 Base reduced from $4.8M
  • 2014 Restructure Bonus: $4.4M
  • 2015 Restructure: Converted $950k of 2015 salary, $1.55M of 2016 salay and $1.4M in roster bonuses into signing bonus.
  • 2015, 2016 & $3M of 2017 salaries now fully g'teed
  • 2017 Per Game Bonus: $43,750
  • All Pro Bonus: $200,000

The Saints now have an estimated $1,771,304 in cap dollars.

While not a stellar year for Keenan Lewis in 2014, before the signing of Brandon Browner, he was the best cornerback on the Saints roster. A late season knee injury which looked horrible, showed the heart of the young cornerback and it's obvious the team values him highly.  With the addition of Brandon Browner, and the return of Jairus Byrd hopes are high that Lewis can return to his 2013 form, and the secondary will have a much better season as well.

As previously stated, this is just a shifting of dollars, and provides some short term immediate cap relief. 2015 and 2016 salaries are now fully guaranteed. While only $3,000,000 of his 2017 contract is guaranteed, his "lost dollars" if cut in his final year have gone up from $2,300,000 to $6,600,000.