New Arizona Cardinals quarterback Sam Bradford has already had two surgeries to repair torn ACLs. Last year, a knee injury that Vikings coach Mike Zimmer called "degenerative" kept him out of the final 14 games of Minnesota's season. In fact, Bradford hasn't played a full 16-game NFL season since 2012.
With this in mind, it's easy to understand why the Cardinals structured Bradford's contract the way they did.
The Cardinals officially announced the signing of Bradford to a two-year contract on Friday. On Monday, NFL insiders Albert Breer and Aaron Wilson provided some fascinating insight into how the Cards structured the deal.
Bradford's contract with the team includes $15 million in guaranteed money (a $5 million base salary plus a $10 million signing bonus) in 2018. It also includes incentives that are heavy on health, as Bradford will receive an additional $312,500 for every game in which he is active during the 2018 regular season. This means Bradford will make an additional $5 million if he is active for all 16 of the Cardinals' regular-season games.
Bradford's contract also includes an option for 2019. If the Cardinals decide to retain Bradford next season, he will make another $17.5 million in guaranteed money (a $7.5 million base salary plus another $10 million signing bonus). Bradford would receive $156,625 for each game he is active in 2019, for a possible total of $2.5 million.
In addition, Bradford will receive a $1 million bonus if the Cardinals win the Super Bowl this season or in 2019 if he remains with the team. Bradford's contract also includes a no-trade clause.
Bottom line: Bradford will receive a minimum of $15 million as a member of the Arizona Cardinals, and that number could go as high as $40 million when all is said and done.