On Thursday, the New England Patriots added some depth to its receiving corps by inking former Tennessee Titan Lavelle Hawkins to a two year deal. Details were released yesterday and we'll take a closer look at Hawkins' new contract with the Pats.
Hawkins signed a two year deal for $3.065 million with only $150,000 guaranteed. The $150K guaranteed is essentially the signing bonus. So, if the Pats decide to cut bait with Hawkins before the contract is over, it wouldn't hurt the Patriots very much.
Like many other contracts in the NFL, Hawkins' contract is incentive laden. In 2013, Hawkins would make $715,000 an receive a $25,000 bonus for showing up to the workouts. The other incentives on the contract for 2013 include:
40 receptions: $150,000
50 receptions: $300,000
60 receptions: $450,000
70 receptions: $600,000
In 2014, Hawkins would make $850,000, more than he made in 2013, and if he makes the roster on the 15th day if the league year, he makes an additional $75,000 and doubles his workout bonus from 2013. His receptions bonus is the same for 2014 as it is for 2013.
Field Yates of ESPN compares Hawkins new contract with New England to the one Julian Edelman signed with the Patriots earlier this offseason. This is a pretty reasonable deal for the Patriots, it's a relatively low cost for a complementary receiver and it doesn't eat up a lot of cap space. If Hawkins turns out to be a huge player for the Pats, they got him really cheap. If he is a bust, the Pats can cut bait and not take a very big hit.
All and all, the Patriots front office made a very smart signing on a receiver who is still young and has a lot to prove. Hawkins will get more than his share of time in the receiving corps to prove that he is a worthy player inside Belichick's regime.