Don’t Be Fooled By Nugent’s Contract

June 11th, 2009

It was weird of Joe to learn earlier this offseason the Bucs signed former Jets kicker Mike Nugent to a $2.4 million contract. Joe wondered what the point was? Incumbent kicker Matt Bryant is one of the NFL’s best, and roughly half the price of Nugent.

Joe understands Raheem the Dream wants competition at all positions, but Bryant could have gotten competition from some guy off the street for about 90 percent less than for what Nugent signed. It just didn’t add up for Joe.

But’s Vacation Man notes that Nugent’s contract isn’t really a factor.

This battle could turn out to be very interesting. On the surface, it may look like the Bucs want Nugent to win the job since they gave him a $2.4 million contract. That’s basically double what Bryant is scheduled to make. But you have to look at the details of Nugent’s contract to really understand this situation.

None of Nugent’s money is guaranteed and the Bucs could be off the hook for the entire amount if they release Nugent. The guess here is that the Bucs brought in Nugent to push Bryant a bit. But they’d be delighted if Bryant rose to the challenge and won the job in camp.

While this does shed some light on the situation, why sign a guy off the street, which Nugent was, to such a contract? There’s a reason why Nugent was unemployed. Why offer him nearly double as Bryant and maybe hack off one of the NFL’s best kickers in the process?

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