Winslow needs to play 35 percent of team's snaps

Updated: September 21, 2004, 3:13 PM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

Kellen Winslow Jr.'s broken leg could cost him a $5.3675 million one-time roster bonus.

Under terms of his six-year, $40 million contract with the Browns, Winslow gambled he would achieve one of 10 supposed easily achievable performance incentives. Those standards ranged from having 41 catches or 801 yards receiving or the simplest standard -- playing time.

All Winslow had to do was participate in 35 percent of the Browns' offensive plays and he qualified for two sets of bonuses that would have given him $5.3675 million in 2005.

Winslow is scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday to repair a broken right fibula and is expected to miss eight to 10 weeks. Should the surgery go well and he makes it back on time, it still will be difficult for him to get the 35 percent playing time bonus because of the injury.

The contract, negotiated by Carl and Kevin Poston, called for the bonuses to be tied to the 2004 season. Normally, there are rollover provisions in contracts similar to these, but Winslow's contract does not appear to have a rollover of the bonus for future years.

Here are the terms of the contract:

  • He could earn a $2 million roster bonus if he reaches any of the qualifers. The bonus would be paid in two installments -- $1 million on April 1, 2005 and $1 million on April 1, 2006.

  • An additional $3.367 million was tied exclusively to making the 2005 bonus.

    "Player can earn Conditional Roster bonus for 2006-2009 only if 2005 Conditional Roster Bonus has already been earned," the contract states.

    The bonus is rolled over with qualifiers based on the same incentives package, but if the team isn't required to pay the first bonus, the second isn't applicable.

    Thus, Winslow has to try be back no later than 10 weeks just to be able to play the final four or five games, but that still may not leave him enough time to play 35 percent of the snaps.

    Last season, the Browns had 1,006 offensive snaps. This season, Cleveland had 110 snaps in the first two games, and Winslow played most of them. He would need to pick up more than 200 plays in the final month of the season just to get to the 35 percent minimum provision.

    That might be tough.

    John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

    John Clayton

    NFL senior writer
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