Guaranteed money at half for 2019 free-agent contracts
By BARRY WILNER
AP Pro Football Writer
NEW YORK (AP) - Guaranteed payments for unrestricted free-agent contracts this month make up just over half of the total money to be paid, down a bit from 2018, when Kirk Cousins signed a fully guaranteed $84-million deal.
For the first 148 deals reached in March, the players' union says $1.116 billion is guaranteed. That's 50.15 percent of the nearly $2.227 billion in total values. Take out Cousins' three-year deal, the 2018 total drops from 52.56 percent to 48 percent.
Teams also have spent far more so far in free agency this year. There were 120 contracts worth $1.836 billion at this point in 2018. Total guarantees in 2018 were $965,479,118.
The average amount per contract in this free agency period has been $15.04 million, of which the guaranteed dollars reached $7.54 million; the larger monetary agreements, such as quarterback Nick Foles' deal with Jacksonville for $88 million over four years, $50.125 million guaranteed, skew the average somewhat.
Eighteen veterans signed contract extensions that totaled $226.725 million, of which 41 percent ($93.17 million) was guaranteed.
Contracts in Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NHL are fully guaranteed for the length of the deal.
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