"Word of caution to all fans out there: Don't believe the contract numbers being thrown around for the free agents being signed.
Here's why: They're usually pumped up by the agent.
When safety Michael Lewis signed with the 49ers over the weekend, it was reported as a deal that included $10 million in guarantees. But, according to figures obtained by CBS SportsLine.com, the deal has almost $10 million in roster bonuses -- not guarantees.
Lewis will get a roster bonus of $3.5 million this season, and then if he plays well, he'll get one $3.5 next season and $3 million in 2009. If he doesn't play well, the 49ers can cut him without paying the last two.
That reported $80 million deal for 49ers corner Nate Clements includes loads of funny money. It is a back-loaded deal with high base salary numbers that he will never see.
Clements received a $10 million signing bonus, which is good, but the last three years total $34 million in base salary. There is no way he ever plays for that kind of money.
Some of the other deals reported are as fluffy as those two. That's what agents do. They make their deals look better than they really are, but a closer look shows how false those numbers can be. "
The point was just to illustrate that players are not getting paid as much ridicolous money as it seems. What are some numbers for other players?