Adrian Peterson is going to have to perform to earn all of his money with the Saints.
The 32-year-old running back signed a two-year deal with the Saints with $3.5 million guaranteed, but he could earn up to $15.25 million over the next two years if he plays well and sticks on the roster, according to a league source.
The deal comes with a $2.5 million signing bonus and base salaries of $1 million in 2017, which is guaranteed, and $1.05 million in 2018.
The key for him will be his performance. Peterson can earn earn additional money by rushing for 750 ($150,000), 1,000 ($250,000), 1,250 ($750,000) or 1,500 ($1 million) yards each of the next two seasons.
Another bonus will come if he hits six ($250,000), eight ($500,000) or 10 touchdowns ($750,000). The 10 touchdown bonus will only be paid if he also leads the league in rushing touchdowns.
If Peterson rushes for 750 yards and the Saints make the playoffs there are other additional bonuses he will earn depending on how far the team advances each of the next two seasons. Simply making the playoffs would earn him $250,000. Making the conference championship would be worth $500,000. A Super Bowl win would earn him $1 million.
His roster bonuses in 2018 can also increase if he hits any of his performance incentives in 2017, possibly increasing by as much as an additional $2.75 million. Essentially, an equal amount of whatever bonuses he earns in 2017 will be added to his 2018 weekly roster bonus.
The key to reaching those plateaus will be the health of Peterson's knee, which limited him to three games last season. He has never rushed for fewer than 970 yards during a season in which he has played more than three games.
The key date for Peterson will be the third day of the 2018 league year, when Peterson is due to earn a $750,000 roster bonus. He will also earn a $25,000 roster bonus for each game he is active during that season, and another bonus of $73,529 each week he is on the 53-man roster. The weekly roster bonus could inflate if he earns incentives in 2017.
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