Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

02 Mar 2007

Nate Clements to San Francisco

Adam Schefter is reporting on NFL Network that the San Francisco 49ers have made Nate Clements the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history, with an eight-year, $80 million contract that includes $22 million guaranteed.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 02 Mar 2007

25 comments, Last at 04 Mar 2007, 5:37pm by The Ninjalectual


by David (not verified) :: Fri, 03/02/2007 - 10:01pm

Wow...we knew there were going to be some ridiculous contracts signed this month, but just...wow.

by jonnyblazin (not verified) :: Fri, 03/02/2007 - 10:08pm

How do you think Asante Samuel feels about now?

by Karl Cuba (not verified) :: Fri, 03/02/2007 - 10:10pm

Apparently the deal really a is a 6 year deal worth 7.5 per year, with some money added on at the end.

As a 49ers fan, all I can say is Hoorah!!!

by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 03/02/2007 - 10:15pm

As Karl has noted, it is not that impressive.

Keep in mind: Champ Bailey, in 2004: 7 years, $63M, $18M signing bonus. This is only about a 20% increase over that, and when you take into account the year length difference, it's not even that.

Cap growth since 2004 has been 35%. It's a perfectly reasonable contract. No FArmageddon here.

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Fri, 03/02/2007 - 10:31pm

Mike Reiss at the Globe says Thomas and the Pats are close to a deal:
The Patriots are scheduled to host linebacker Adalius Thomas at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, and assuming he passes a physical and there are no last-minute hitches, the sides should finalize a blockbuster deal that will make Thomas a Patriot, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Fri, 03/02/2007 - 10:36pm

Also the Redskins signed London Fletcher... took them long enough.

by jonnyblazin (not verified) :: Fri, 03/02/2007 - 10:36pm

re: 4

But Champ Bailey is/was considered the best corner in the game. In the AFC alone Clements shouldn't be ranked above Bailey, McCalister, Mathis, Asomugha, and Pacman (in skill, of course).

by PaulH (not verified) :: Fri, 03/02/2007 - 10:41pm

I said a few weeks ago after Asante Samuel was taken off the market that Clements could start wiping his ass with $20 bills.

I was wrong.

He can now start wiping his ass with $100 bills.

by Pat (not verified) :: Fri, 03/02/2007 - 10:52pm

#7: Yes, but he is getting paid less than Champ Bailey would be if Bailey was on the market now. Bailey hits the market in 2011 (probably 2009) and so the amount that Bailey makes (assuming he's still a top corner) for the same time period will be much, much higher.

I do agree he's getting overpaid - but strangely in the NFL, they don't seem to differentiate much between "top tier, great, average, and suck" when it comes to contracts. It's very odd.

by dave whorton (not verified) :: Fri, 03/02/2007 - 11:05pm

wow what fools [the 49ers]

by countertorque (not verified) :: Fri, 03/02/2007 - 11:20pm

What does the game charting data say about Clements? Or should I be able to find that on the site somewhere?

by IcedD (not verified) :: Fri, 03/02/2007 - 11:22pm

Apparently the Redskins are close to signing Smoot to anchor their defensive backfield - given his experience with boats.

by David Lewin (not verified) :: Sat, 03/03/2007 - 12:15am

nothing wrong with this deal, it was either spend the money on clements, or let it go to waste, i'll definitely take clements

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Sat, 03/03/2007 - 12:32am

Boston Herald says the Pats deal with Thomas includes $17.5mil of guaranteed money and an average contract value of $7.5mil/year.

by MJK (not verified) :: Sat, 03/03/2007 - 12:34am

Hmmm, this deal just made negotiations with Samuel for a long term deal more... problematic. Especially if they just ate up a huge chunk of cap on Thomas.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Sat, 03/03/2007 - 12:37am

I would really like to know what the Bills saw in Derrick Dockery to give him a dump-truck full of cash... $16 million signing bonus!

I guess we'll have to wait and see if leaving the Redskins continues to give one the midas touch.

by Yaguar (not verified) :: Sat, 03/03/2007 - 1:26am

In other Buffalo news, London Fletcher is now a Redskin.

5 year, 25 million, 10.5 million signing bonus.

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Sat, 03/03/2007 - 10:10am

Florida Times-Union says Pats have signed Kyle Brady.

by OMO (not verified) :: Sat, 03/03/2007 - 10:46am

Damn...great contract for Clements...I agree that the money isn't insane...I just question if Clements is THAT good.

I would label this deal as "we have a lot of money to spend (SF) and since their are only a few difference makers in the FA pool this year...lets go all in"

Now what's this BS about the Pats signing Thomas.

Come on Pioli...get your copy of Moneyball out and re-read it...just say no!!!!


by steelberger1 (not verified) :: Sat, 03/03/2007 - 10:59am

The Pats signing Thomas doesnt seem like their MO. Dont get me wrong...he is a very good LB, but the Pats problem is aging linebackers...so they are going to break the bank on a 30 year old with maybe 1 or two good years left? Seems like a very expensive temporary fix.

by John (not verified) :: Sat, 03/03/2007 - 11:37am

As #2 said (and I'm going to trust his info is accurate) it's important to keep in mind what the contract is actually worth, rather than the BS numbers the agent/team come up with. 7.5 million per year isn't that over the top crazy. I mean isn't Samuel getting paid 7.8 million under the franchise tag? 22 million guaranteed is certainly pretty impressive though.

by John (not verified) :: Sat, 03/03/2007 - 11:38am

whoops, I meant #3

by mmm... sacrilicious (not verified) :: Sat, 03/03/2007 - 2:47pm

#17: Didn't the Skins already go through the "sign aging veterans that were Pro Bowlers 5 years ago" team-building plan? It sure worked out well with Deion, Bruce Smith, etc...

The Snyders have had so many offseason strategies that it's hard to take them seriously any more. They've tried signing vets, signing RFAs, trading for players, and many others. It seems like the only team-building plan the Deadskins haven't used is building the team from within with smart draft picks and young players. You know, sort of like the Patriots, Eagles, Chargers, Colts, or pretty much any other good team.

by McGayTrain (not verified) :: Sat, 03/03/2007 - 8:14pm

Having watched Clements since he was drafted, my conclusion is that he has the capability to be as good as any corner in the league, Bailey included. However, he is not reliable on an every-play, every-game basis. At least one of his INTs this year came off deflections, and until week 9 or so, Bills fans were calling for his head and even questioning Levy's franchise tagging of him.

That said, in this market, the contract wasn't absurd. The real question is whether the Niners will get good Nate or bad Nate.

As a Bills fan, I must say I'm worried about Thomas to the Pats. Vrabel is enough to worry about.

by The Ninjalectual (not verified) :: Sun, 03/04/2007 - 5:37pm

It can be hard to be a Redskins fan sometimes.

London Flether-Baker is a solid player, and I suspect he will improve the defense. It was last years blunders (Duckett, Lloydand Randle El rather than one or the other, Archuletta, the continued employment of Warrick Holdman, etc). Also, I liked Derrick Dockery and felt he was a solid player.