Okay, let's consoidate & get this settled once and for all in one thread.One poster referred to being hired for a $50,000 and $40,000 a year for 5 years was equivalent to being hired for $50,000 a year for 5 years in providing a basis for discussing NFL contracts.Here's my response:-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------First off, being paid $40,000/yr for 5 years with a $50,000 signing bonus is being paid more than if you get $50,000/yr for 5 years with no signing bonus. The time/value of money means that the $50,000 up front with a $40,000 annuity is worth more than a $50,000 annuity over the 5 years. That's Econ 101.Secondly, the signing bonus is guaranteed money, with all the risk being placed on the management end. Suppose the company contracts with you to do accounting for a $50,000 signing bonus and then $40,000 a year for 5 years, only to realize after 1 year that you have the mental capacity of a shrew and can not grasp accounting skills. So they fire you because you aren't worth $40,000 a year to them, but you still retain the entire $50,000 signing bonus plus the $40,000 first year's salary. That's $90,000 for one year's work at which you were incompetent. That's a great deal for you - and that's the risk that the company took when it paid you the signing bonus - but that doesn't mean that the company is required to pay for another 4 years of incompetence by you at $40,000 a year. Now, the reason the company assumes the risk of paying a signing bonus - and it is a risk assumed completely by the company - is that they see enough potential in an employee that they want to train the employee & ensure that after the employee is trained that they stay around for multiple years. That's called protecting their investment, and it's good business. That's a reasonable expectation for the trade off of the signing bonus.In other words, there are risks and benefits on both sides in this type of contract negotiation. The owners take a completely one-sided risk in offering a signing bonus before they even know how well a player can compete at the NFL level, or whether they will fit in on the team, or whether the player will get injured in the first 5 minutes of stepping onto the field for them. However, in return for taking this kind of up-front risk (and giving a more substantial sum in terms of future money value), the owners want to ensure that in developing the player that they will retain the player's services for an extended period of time. That's a vey realistic expectation.The players, in turn, get a sizable chunk of money up front (again, we have the advantage of the basic principle of time/value of money) - money that is guaranteed unless they violate their end of the contract - and then also have the assurity of long term employment provided that their performance meets what management considers comparable value to the team.Both sides understand this agreement. Both sides understand - or should understand - the risks and benefits of their part in the agreement. That the players don't get it despite "outperforming" their contract - a highly debatable point - only shows that they have received some very poor advice & representation from their agent. I don't see how that's the team's fault in any way, shape, or form.