Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Former Raiders running back Latavius Murray and the Minnesota Vikings agreed Thursday to a three-year deal worth a total of $15 million. Of that figure, $8.5 million comes in the form of guarantees, including $3.4 million due at signing likely in signing and roster bonuses.
Murray will represent less than a $3 million hit against the salary cap in 2017, per ESPN’s Ben Goessling.
If Murray doesn’t live up to expectations, Minnesota can cut him without much penalty as long as he is cut before the 2018 season, Minnesota is only on the hook for $3.4 million, not the full $8.5 million.
As such, Murray’s deal can be seen as a one-year contract where the Vikings can void the remaining $5.15 million if they cut the RB prior to the 2018 season.
If the Vikings decide to keep Murray he will earn near $5 million per year in 2018 and $5.2 million in 2019. Moreover, Murray could earn $2.3 million dollars in incentives over the life of the contract.
Murray’s contract is friendly to Minnesota, but it also sets the bar low for other running backs in the free agent market.
Considering that Murray was the only back left on the free agent market who was still in his prime and capable of being a starting running back in the NFL, the figures are a little surprising and certainly discouraging for the rest of the league’s unsigned backs.