Mohammed Sanu's five-year, $32.5 million deal has a very favorable structure for the Falcons. The $7 million signing bonus will hit $1.4 million towards the cap every year, but all guarantees will be paid out by the end of the second season. Those include the first two years of salary at $1 million and $6 million, respectively. Should the Falcons keep him afterwards, he would earn $6 million in 2018 and 2019 and $6.5 million in 2020.
Sanu needs to show that he can be a reliable No. 2 option for the Falcons in 2016 or his hits of around $7 million over the next few seasons will be coming off of the cap after his second season. Atlanta has some flexibility in this deal due to the structure to allow for lower cap hits in the future if they need it. It's structured very similarly to Alex Mack's deal, in that the first year should provide more flexibility, and it's a deal they will structure the team around later.
The Bottom Line
It's a two-year, $14 million dollar deal with a team option to keep him around the last three years. Should the Falcons deem him worthy of playing the No. 2 role long term with production in the range of an average of 60 catches, 800 yards and five touchdowns a season, he'll be a steal at $7 million per season. Atlanta needs him to perform though, or the critics of this deal will look like geniuses. And honestly, they might be right, because this wasn't a great deal.