As the 2022 NFL league year rolls on, sometimes getting the details of contracts players sign can take some time. While sometimes the financials are not initially disclosed, other times the years and overall payout will get shared from various sources. Eventually, full details of the contract come out and the salary cap hit can be calculated.
When it comes new Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky and his two-year deal to come to Pittsburgh, there are still parts of the contract being disclosed three weeks after the deal was reported. Initially thought to have more than $12 million in incentives, this may not be the case after all.
The #Steelers are signing QB Mitch Trubisky to a two-year, $14.25 million deal that's worth up to $27M with incentives, source said.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 15, 2022
With the breakdown on the base salary and signing bonus known for some time, Trubisky’s $3.66 million cap hit for 2022 has been widely reported. What was still not known, at least until Monday, was the incentives in Trubisky’s contract. According to Albert Breer of The Monday Morning Quarterback, Trubisky can earn another $4.25 million per season with the Steelers.
The incentives, by the way, aren't crazy ...— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 5, 2022
• $4 million each year in play-time incentives (these will be pretty achievable if he starts and stays healthy all the way through).
• $250,000 Pro Bowl incentive each year.
Pretty fair all the way around. https://t.co/b979oLQCTG
The most notable part of Trubisky’s incentives is the $4 million each season based on playing time. What has been widely reported is the incentive kicks in if Trubisky plays 60% of the Steelers offensive snaps and has a tiered system to pay out as the percentage increases. The exact breakdown has not been reported at this time, but by doing the structure it appears the incentive will fall in the category of “not likely to be earned.” This is important because it means it does not count on the 2022 salary cap.
So what happens when an incentive is earned when it’s deemed in the “not likely” category prior to the season? Basically, the incentive goes towards next year’s salary cap. Think of what happens when a player has an incentive for winning the Super Bowl. If a player earns an extra $3 million for winning the Super Bowl, that’s not going to kick in during that season‘s salary cap after the season is already over. Instead, it just gets included in the next year's cap after it is earned.
The other incentive listed by Breer is if Trubisky makes the Pro Bowl in either of his two years with Steelers he would gain an extra $250,000. This is definitely in the “not likely to be earned” category. If it ends up that Trubisky does make the Pro Bowl, this would be overwhelmingly good news for the Steelers and the amount of money going towards the salary cap the following season should be the last thing on fan’s mind.
So these are the incentives of Mitch Trubisky‘s contract as we know them at this time. On the surface, it appears that the $12.75 million in incentives which was first reported when Trubisky came to an agreement with the Steelers does not seem to be the case. But even at $8.5 million over the next two seasons, if Trubisky ends up being a quality quarterback for the Steelers, adding these numbers on top of the rest of his contract could still be a great deal if the Steelers are getting quality play at the position.