The more I try to understand this the further I become lost. Could someone perhaps break this down into layman terms for the mentally inept such as myself? NFL "contracts" dont really sound as concrete as the word "contract" leads me to believe. From what I understand in baseball some of these guys sign monster contracts and get every darn penny despite lack of performance or health. NFL pay seems very bizarre to me. They sign a contract... Get a big lump sum as a "signing bonus" upfront, which I assume to avoid salary cap issues? Then the remaining monies are spread out among a set amount of years with the salary fluctuating year to year. There seems to be tons of deferring and restructuring done (in many cases) throughout the length of the contract. Then if for whatever reason (ala Miles Austin) the player isnt putting up desired numbers you can just cut him. Kinda seems to contradict the term "contract" IMO. Its almost like a player being rewarded with a big contract should get too excited. Maybe some of you guys who have a better grasp on this can expand a little of what and how these things work.