One of the news items we missed posting separately about because of the transition to the new site was that 10 days ago the Titans re-signed free agent-to-be C/G Eugene Amano to a new 5 year, $25.7 million contract. Now, most NFL contracts give the player a signing bonus with a relatively small base salary up front and increasing base salaries over time.
The logic for this is pretty straightforward-the player wants a lot of money up front, and giving it to them in the form of a signing bonus allows it to be spread over the life of the contract, rather than hamstringing the team the year the contract was signed*. The player then gets increasingly large base salaries to ensure they remain motivated and don't look for another signing bonus windfall. Keith Bulluck's contract runs out in a few days is a good example of this-he received a base salary of $3.5 million in 2006, $4 million in 2007, $4.25 million in 2008, and $5.5 million in 2009.