By now, you’ve likely heard that Kenny Stills’ new contract with the Dolphins is for four years, $32 million.
That ties him with Detroit’s Marvin Jones as the 20th highest paid receiver in the NFL, according to spotrac.com.
But this is the NFL, so it’s not as cut and dry as the Dolphins cutting Stills an $8 million check ever year between now and 2020.
Rather, it’s essentially a two-year, $17 million contract — with a $3.5 million salary cap penalty if the Dolphins cut him after the 2018 season.
Stills got $7 million up front in the form of a signing bonus and, assuming he meets the necessary criteria to earn his $25,000 workout bonuses, will earn $9 million total in 2017 and $8 million in 2018.
Then, the Dolphins will have a decision to make.
Keep Stills (and presumably Jarvis Landry, whose contract expires after this year and is in line for a big extension of his own) or go with DeVante Parker, who has two more years on his rookie deal plus a potential fifth-year option.
It’s hard to see how the Dolphins will have all three on their roster beyond the 2019 season. They’re probably not going to pay three receivers close to $30 million per season, unless the salary cap continues to balloon indefinitely.
Stills is due $8 million in salary and signing bonus in 2019 and $9 million in 2020. If he’ll be around to earn it is largely up to him.