For a couple months now, the Seattle Sounders have made no secret about the fact that they had offered Jordan Morris the richest Homegrown Player contract in league history. It even appears as though MLS created a new fund from which teams could draw, partly in order to accommodate the Sounders' efforts.
As a result, there wasn't too much actual negotiating to do when the Sounders made their latest pitch: They basically gave Morris all the money they had available in the Homegrown Player budget. If the Sounders had given Morris anymore than that, his entire salary would have counted against the salary cap and created a cascading effect of other roster problems.
"This was not about us recruiting him, it was about a relationship," Sounders GM and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey said during Thursday's press conference. "It was ultimately about what Jordan felt was best for his career. It's hard to acknowledge but it's important to: There was no genius that the Sounders did here, certainly nothing I did.
"It was the worst contract negotiation I've ever been apart of. I said here's the rules, this is everything I can pay you, I can look in the couch cushions to see if there's anything else. OK I'll give you that too. I basically presented what we had."
And how much was that?
According to Grant Wahl, Morris will be guaranteed $675,000 over three years -- about $225,000 a year. The Werder Bremen contract reportedly would have guaranteed Morris a bit more annually in the first year, but would have been diminished if the Bundesliga club was relegated. At the midseason break, Werder Bremen is currently third from bottom, meaning they'd need to survive a relegation playoff.