Dennis Dixon's contract with Eagles speaks volumes

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Dennis Dixon's contract with Eagles speaks volumes
February 20, 2013, 6:45 pm
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INDIANAPOLIS -- You can tell far more from a player’s contract than from what his coaches say about him.

And Dennis Dixon’s contract speaks volumes.

Dixon, who won his second Super Bowl ring in five years earlier this month while on the Ravens’ practice squad, will earn only the NFL minimum wage in both 2013 and 2014 if he makes the Eagles’ roster, according to terms of the contract he signed with the Eagles earlier this week.

Although Dixon played for Chip Kelly at Oregon and is familiar with Kelly’s offense, there’s nothing in the contract that commits the Eagles to keeping Dixon on the roster.

As of now, Dixon is one of four quarterbacks under contract with the Eagles, along with Michael Vick, Nick Foles and Trent Edwards.

Dixon’s contract allows the Eagles to release him with very few cap complications if he struggles or if they elect to draft a quarterback they prefer to keep as the No. 3 – in the event they don’t trade Foles.

But the contract also has incentives that more than double Dixon’s pay if he does end up starting and having success.

The two-year deal includes base salaries of $715,000 and $730,000. Minimum wage for players in their fourth, fifth or sixth season is $715,000 in 2013 and $730,000 in 2014.

Because Dixon spent all of 2012 on the Ravens’ practice squad, he did not receive a year of pension credit, so even though he just completed his sixth year in the league, he is considered a fifth-year player.

Minimum wage in 2014 for seventh-year players will be $855,000, so by not being on a 53-man roster this past season, Dixon’s 2014 salary is $125,000 less than it would have been had he gained a year of pension credit (by being on the roster at least four weeks).

Dixon has an escalator clause that increases either base salary up to $1.05 million if he meets specific incentives based on playing time and wins as a starting quarterback.

He would essentially have to win the starting job and have success to trigger those incentives, which would raise his base salaries to $1,765 million in 2013 and $1.78 million in 2014.

Dixon did receive a modest $25,000 signing bonus, and he’ll receive another $50,000 if he’s on the active roster on opening day, which is likely to be Sept. 8. His contract also includes a $25,000 workout bonus.

Dixon’s cap numbers are $815,000 and $755,000 in 2013 and 2014.

Dixon earned $96,900 last year for spending the year on the Ravens’ practice squad. His original rookie contract as the Steelers’ fifth-round pick in 2008 paid him $1.28624 million.

Dixon, 28, threw for 5,129 yards, 38 touchdowns and 21 interceptions in four years at Oregon and ran for 1,208 yards and 4.7 yards per carry.

He’s started only three games in the NFL, one in 2009 and two in 2010, and thrown just 59 passes with one career TD – a 33-yarder to Santonio Holmes in Baltimore against the Ravens on Nov. 29, 2009. He hasn’t thrown a pass since September of 2010.

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