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Inside 2020 NFL free-agent contract numbers: Who really got the best deals?

You hear a lot of numbers thrown around during NFL free agency, but they don't always reflect reality. That five-year, $70 million deal you heard about might turn out to really be a three-year deal that the team can escape after just two.

That doesn't make it a bad deal, by any stretch. It just serves as a window into the way the NFL's economic system works. Very rarely does a free agent, especially a non-quarterback, make it all the way to the end of a long-term deal. Sports News This is why players and agents push hard for guarantees and big payouts in the first two or three years of a deal -- because they know that's usually all they can expect to collect.


With that in mind, each year around this time, we like to take a look at some of the contract details from the early part of the free-agent period and educate you a little bit on interesting quirks and differences in them.

A disclaimer: The details contained in this story come from the summaries of deals that the NFL Players Association sends to agents, Press Release Distribution Service which we have obtained. Very often, there will be a mistake in those summaries (and an agent will call me to correct it). Many of these deals have not yet been officially signed -- an especially important point to remember in this, the year of the delayed physical -- and therefore some of their details could be subject to change. But for the most part, these are accurate details, and they illustrate some interesting aspects of the league's financial landscape.

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