The New England Patriots got a great player in cornerback Brandon Browner, but most importantly, they signed him to a team-friendly contract.
Browner’s deal looks hefty for a player starting the season with a four-game suspension. But his three-year, $12.35 million contract includes just $1 million guaranteed. That guaranteed money typically is where fights begin in negotiations between players and teams. Since NFL contracts are not guaranteed, players try to get as much money up front as possible.
Free agency usually isn’t where great teams are built. But team-friendly contracts can go a long way, especially for great players.
We went through the worst free-agent contracts of 2014 on Monday. Now it’s time to look at the smartest signings, which include some low-risk, high-reward deals.