The Chiefs' recent contract extension with Tyreek Hill includes exhaustive protections for the club in the event the receiver runs afoul of the law again or is found to have not been truthful in the investigation into allegations that he broke his child's arm, according to numerous sources who have studied the language of the contract.
The NFL did not discipline Hill after looking into the matter -- which included Hill being denied custody of the 3-year-old this offseason -- and the Chiefs immediately welcomed him back once his status was clarified before camp began after having previously suspended him from team activities in the spring. Hill, who pled guilty to striking his girlfriend, Crystal Espinal, while she was pregnant with their child in college, was entering the final year of his rookie deal, and agreed to an extension that allows the Chiefs to essentially void any of his guarantees on a week-to-week basis for the duration of the deal should he be suspended or placed on the commissioner's exempt list at any time, per the contract. Commissioner Roger Goodell made it clear in his letter to Hill upon his ruling that the league could take action at any point new evidence or information becomes available about the incident.
To that end, the Chiefs signed Hill to a deal with a very unusual and complicated structure, according to numerous NFL salary cap executives, that provides extreme cap and financial cover for the team should Hill face future NFL sanction for this event, or anything else. He gets a minimal signing bonus of $5.8 million (teams can only recoup up to 25 percent of this bonus in the event of suspension, thus keeping that number as low as possible benefits the Chiefs), at a time when Julio Jones (who has no off-field concern) received $25 million upfront in his latest extension with the Falcons. Hill has guarantees of roughly $20 million overall at the time of signing (Jones has triple that), while the Chiefs own Hill's rights through 2022 if they desire (eliminating the need for any franchise tag).
Hill earns the same minimal base salary he was already scheduled to this year ($720,000) and has guaranteed veteran minimum salaries the following two years ($820,000 and $835,000) and in 2022 as well if they execute that option ($850,000). The entirety of the rest of the contract is tied to roster bonuses, with language included that allow those guarantees to void if Hill is not on the active roster or injured reserve every week through the Super Bowl the previous season or if he is not on the 90-man roster for the start of the ensuing season.
So, for instance, he would earn a $15.2 million roster bonus in 2020, which would be payable on February 15, 2021 -- if he was on the team's roster every week through that Super Bowl. If he was off it for any period of time for a suspension, or on the exempt list, then he would have received his signing bonus, minimum salary in 2019 and prorated portion of his 2020 veteran-minimum salary to whatever point he was removed from the active roster. The same language applies to 2021, when Hill has a $9.75 million roster bonus.
The Chiefs have significant protections against any holdout (receiver salaries have been soaring, as Julio Jones just got $66M in his 30s), with $2.1 million of payout in 2021 tied to him reporting on time and $3 million in 2022 tied to that as well. The Chiefs must decide in 2021 if they are going to execute his option for 2022. That option year includes a $13.5 million roster bonus and a maximum cash payout of $17.85 million.
Hill is currently recovering from a.