New Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Dontari Poe has a pretty big incentive to keep himself in tip-top shape during the 2017 season. According to a report from Pro Football Talk, Poe’s one-year, $10 million contract carries an $8 million guarantee, but $500,000 of that figure is tied to Poe’s weight.
Per a source with knowledge of the deal, Poe’s one-year contract with the Falcons includes a half-million bonus tied to Poe making weight on a consistent basis. Failure to meet his goals will eat (pun not intended) into his $8 million base package.
The contract otherwise pays $7.5 million fully guaranteed for 2017. Poe also can make up to $2 million in incentives based on playing time, sacks, and making it to the Pro Bowl. (The incentives are classified as “not likely to be earned,” which means they’d count against the cap in 2018 if earned in 2017.)
Doing some sleuthing, PFT figures that Poe has to get down to 330 pounds. Poe told ESPN.com that Falcons coach Dan Quinn wants him to lose some weight so he can be quicker off the line of scrimmage, the better to penetrate gaps in the run game.
“He just told me he wanted me to come in and play fast and be aggressive,” Poe said, “so around 330 is where I’ll play at most of the year. I feel like that will be a comfortable weight for me, too.”
Poe was listed at 346 pounds by the Chiefs in 2016. That weight made him the in the history of the NFL. (He had already held the record as the heaviest player to run for a touchdown.)
The Falcons had one of the best offenses in NFL history last season, so it seems unlikely Poe would’ve wound up breaking his own record this year anyway simply because Atlanta doesn’t need him to throw passes near the goal line, but now, if he wants that $500K, it won’t happen anyway.