Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Off-Field Woes Cost Phillips in Contract

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Off-Field Woes Cost Phillips in Contract

Article excerpt

Jam-packed with clauses and conditions, it may be one of the most complicated contracts in professional sports history. Simply put, Lawrence Phillips will have to sing for his supper, play for pay.

Under normal circumstances, Phillips could expect a five- or six-year contract with a $5 million to $6 million guaranteed signing bonus as the sixth player taken overall in the National Football League draft.

But because of his current one-year probation for misdemeanor assault of a former girlfriend, and a pending drunken-driving charge, Phillips has settled for a total contract of $5,625,000 over three years. And next to none of it is guaranteed.

For starters, Phillips gets no signing bonus.

Here's how the three years of his contract break down:

1996: He has a base salary of $1.25 million, with a roster bonus of $250,000 if he's on the roster for one game. The total is $1.5 million.

1997: A base salary of $1,575,000, with a $300,000 bonus if he participates in the team's offseason conditioning program in St. Louis. For a total of $1,875,000.

1998: A base salary of $2 million, with a $225,000 bonus if he participates in the team's offseason conditioning program in St. Louis. For a total of $2.25 million.

The offseason workout bonuses are something the Rams haven't done much of in the past. But they want to keep Phillips in as structured a football environment as they can, and in general they want to encourage players to work out in St. Louis over the winter.

A total of about $1.4 million of Phillips' contract is guaranteed conditionally over the final two years of the deal. He gets about 40 percent of his 1997 base salary guaranteed if he passes a physical before the '97 season and stays out of trouble; and about 40 percent of his '98 ba se is guaranteed if he passes a physical before the '98 season and stays out of trouble.

Among the conditions that would void any guarantee money is a guilty or no-contest plea to a felony, or a league suspension for violation of its substance abuse policies.

Also included in Phillips' contract are performance incentives - for such things as rushing for more than 1,000 yards or making the Pro Bowl - that could boost his contract a maximum of $600,000 over the three years. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.