9:52am: Jordan’s extension is worth $55MM, with $5MM in incentives, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Since Jordan was already set to earn a salary just below $7MM for 2015, his six-year average looks like it will be in the neighborhood of $10.3MM, which is nearly the same annual rate the Saints are paying Galette.
9:39am: The Saints have reached an agreement on a lucrative contract extension for Cameron Jordan, whose previous deal was set to expire at the end of the 2015 season, reports Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports. According to Garafolo, the five-year extension can be worth up to $60MM, and Jordan will get $33.6MM in guarantees, including about $27MM over the next two years.
Those initial figures may overstate the value of Jordan’s new contract a little — the fact that the deal can be worth “up to” $60MM suggests that some incentives may be involved, and I imagine a portion of that $33.6MM guarantee is for injury only. Still, the extension will keep Jordan under team control through the 2020 season, and it looks like a significant investment by the Saints into a player who has become a key part of the club’s defense.
Over the last three seasons, Jordan has racked up 28 total sacks, including 12.5 in his Pro Bowl 2013 season. Interestingly, after recording a +35.3 grade as a pass rusher in ’13, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Jordan’s pass-rushing grade fell to -7.9 in 2014, as he totaled just 7.5 sacks. However, PFF considered the 25-year-old an above average defensive end against the run.
Jordan’s new contract places him just outside of the top five 4-3 defensive ends by annual average salary, though one of those five is Jason Pierre-Paul, who is currently in line to earn $14.813MM on a one-year pact, via the franchise tag. Mario Williams, Robert Quinn, Charles Johnson, and Chris Long also have higher per-year values on their contracts than Jordan will, but Jordan’s extension is right up there with teammate Junior Galette‘s deal.
By locking up Jordan and Galette, the Saints have secured a pair of excellent pass rushers, though it’s not clear if Galette is in the team’s long-term plans. The 27-year-old ran into some legal troubles in recent months, and offseason reports suggested head coach Sean Payton and the Saints wouldn’t have been opposed to moving on from Galette if they could find a taker. For now though, he and Jordan appear poised to help anchor Rob Ryan‘s 2015 defense, which features some new faces like Brandon Browner and Dannell Ellerbe.
Jordan’s new contract could help set a precedent for other top defensive lineman who are eligible for extensions this offseason, including Marcell Dareus and Muhammad Wilkerson. For his part, Wilkerson tweeted, “Yup I see how this works,” shortly after word of Jordan’s agreement broke.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.