The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a lot of cap space right now, and they're using to frontload their free agency contracts. Both Doug Martin and J.R. Sweezy got deals that stack the payments in the first couple of years, though that's more true for Sweezy than Martin.
According to Aaron Wilson, Doug Martin has a $4 million roster bonus and a $4 million salary this year, both fully guaranteed, and a fully guaranteed $7 million salary next year. He'll get $6.75 million in 2018 and $7 million in both 2019 and 2020. He can also earn an extra $1.437 million in each year from 2017 through 2020 via escalators for unspecified statistics, Pro Bowl and playing time incentives.
As is always the case with NFL contracts, this is essentially a series of one-year team options after the guarantees run out. So you can also see this as a two-year, $15 million contract -- which is how much the Bucs will lose if Martin turns back into the 2013-14 version of himself.
As for Sweezy, Wilson reports that the difference between early and later seasons is even more lopsided. While the deal is worth $6.5 million per year at $32.5 million over five seasons, the first year sees Sweezy getting $9 million, with $5 million in the second year. That's the sum of his guarantees, so the Bucs can cut ties after 2017 without owing him anything. He'll earn $6.5 million, $5.75 million and $5.75 million in salary from 2018 through 2020, if he sticks on the roster.
The Bucs continue to stick with their habit of having cash and cap hits the same in every season, which helps in managing the cap. It also means the Bucs can cut ties with both Martin and Sweezy after two years while owing them nothing in the future, if they disappoint -- or the Bucs just need some cap space. That's especially important with Martin, who's 27 years old. NFL running backs tend to start their decline in their late 20s.