Turns out any concerns over Clint Dempsey's contract becoming more cumbersome as a product of it being backloaded can be put to rest. The 30-year-old's deal, which runs through 2016, is apparently evenly spread out over the three-and-a-half seasons, according to a report by Brian Straus.
Assuming this is actually the case, that would put the total value of Dempsey's deal somewhere in the $21 million range. The only MLS contract to be worth more was David Beckham, who the MLS Players Union had topping out at $6.5 million.
The other bit of detail revealed by Straus, which Dave and I had basically figured out on our own shortly after publishing my story yesterday, is that Shalrie Joseph's salary reduction is probably not nearly as dramatic as it looks. Being as Joseph took his reduction after the season was already more than halfway through, he was already paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $300,000 of his nearly $600,000 deal. His restructured deal probably pays him about $50,000 for the remainder of the season and likely includes an extension into next season that would probably be a net gain in total compensation.
While all of this makes great news this year, Straus also points out that the Sounders could be in a bit of a salary-cap crunch next year. Dempsey won't get a raise, but his salary cap hit will more than double from $175,000 this year to nearly $370,000 next year, Joseph will probably hit the cap at nearly $300,000 and players like Eddie Johnson (currently underpaid), Brad Evans (out of contract) and Lamar Neagle (entering Year 4) will surely be looking for raises. At the same time, there could be some savings from Mauro Rosales (who is unlikely to be brought back at his current rate).
More from Sounder At Heart:
- Sounders Salaries: Clint Dempsey making $6 million a year, Shalrie Joseph accepts massive cut
- Clint Dempsey left off U.S. roster for Bosnia friendly, but Brad Evans and Eddie Johnson included
- Sounders only team capable of absorbing Dempsey salary with chance to recover wages
- Observations from Clint Dempsey's first day of full training
- MLS may reap long term benefits from the signing of Clint Dempsey